This is the second year that Gardenridge Pty Ltd has submitted a project for the Boutique Garden Competition, and it is the second year that we have been successful at gaining a finalist position. This means that our garden, The R(h)ope Garden , will be built at the 2016 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
Last year we designed a rational garden, balanced and rich in references to landscape design tradition. We were pleased with the garden and certainly received a lot of positive feedback but in the end the garden failed to win the Boutique Garden Competition. On reflection perhaps the garden was too conservative and did not introduce anything new to garden design.
Tradition is a good thing because you can learn from the mistakes and lessons of the past. But it also can be a limit, like a ‘cage’ that doesn’t allow you to get out from your comfort zone. This year we want to break out of that cage, stretch it, distort it and make it become a laboratory for new ideas.
A twisted cage is the main structure of our garden. It will be built from a central metal pole that presents metal circles with different sizes welded on it. The central pole and the circles are the skeleton for stretching and linking ropes that define the weft of the cage.
Around the central pole the weft is particularly dense and it becomes a circular seating area. On the pole there are hidden lights installed, so the core of the cage will become a tall light feature at night.
Along one of the sides there is a black pond with a fog machine; we want to create a mysterious atmosphere, reminiscent of an alchemic laboratory.
Some of the great scientific discoveries have come from mistakes or fortuities, so within the cage we want to use some plants traditionally used in landscaping like Magnolia ‘Creamy Fairy’ with other plants normally considered weeds like morning glory, Ipomoea. Furthermore we also want to grow edible plants like amaranth or artichoke.
The colour scheme we have chosen and the planting palette is just the starting point; we have embraced ‘seeming randomness’ in our garden and hope that this might prepare the way for new inspirations.