From March 29–April 22, the largest horticultural event in the southern hemisphere will once again be held at the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens to the delight of over 100,000 expected visitors.
A highly anticipated flower show held annually since 1995, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show attracts the most talented landscape architects and florists from around the world. It is easy to see why this event engenders considerable excitement from amateur and professional gardeners alike—the vibrant blooms and exquisitely designed gardens harken back to the days of open green spaces before high-density living replaced countryside vistas with urban jungles.
As Youna Angevin-Castro of Warners Nurseries explains in an article posted in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show website: “All Australians have the capacity to combat the urban heat island effect…simply by turning their attention to their own backyards.”
She goes on to explain one practical benefit of investing in your own urban garden beyond the well-known therapeutic effects of greenery: "Increase the Value of Your Property: A 2014 study of inner-city property prices by buyers’ advocate group Secret Agent concluded that homes with a lush, maintained garden commanded prices up to 18 per cent more than homes without a garden. In one case, a Fitzroy North home sold for a whopping $185,000 more than it’s competitors thanks to its beautiful landscaped gardens."
If the previous incarnations of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show are any guide, there will again be a dizzying variety of landscaping styles on display at this year’s event—from avant-garde to traditional, from minimalist to lush, and from achievable gardens to tantalisingly aspirational show gardens.
Yet the use of timber in outdoor environments will inevitably make an appearance, as it always does in major horticultural events around the world. Incorporating timber in garden design—from planters, fencing, trellises, decorative panels, arches and arbours, decking, edging, to furniture—will never go out of style.
These timber elements by Woodform Architectural are perfect accents to any outdoor environment.
The “Greenery Garden” (designed by Vivid Design and constructed by Semken Landscaping), for example—last year’s winner of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden for Best in Show—incorporated timber into its award-winning design. Timber structures not only share an organic fellowship with flowers, plants, and obviously trees, they by themselves also possess similar curative, calming, and timeless aesthetics.
Always be aware of this caveat, however: ensure that the timber materials used in your garden are sustainably sourced and expertly treated for long-term outdoor use. This way, your patch of heaven will not only be environmentally responsible—future generations will also be able to encounter its tranquil beauty.