Garden Inspirations

MIFGS FLASHBACK: The Gardener’s Library – Aspiration

Designer: Carolyn & Joby Blackman, Vivid Design

If your ideal garden is a tranquil, elegant refuge from the hustle and bustle of daily life, where you can sit and devour a brilliant book, then Vivid Design’s 2014 Melbourne International Flower Show garden – The Gardener’s Library – is both a literary and horticultural triumph.

Created by Carolyn and Joby Blackman of Vivid Design and constructed by Semken Landscaping the garden draws it's inspiration from Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, who once said: “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

A custom-built conservatory – built in England and shipped to Australia specifically for MIFGS – sits at the centre of the garden. Styled by Becsam Designs, the conservatory interior is booklover’s dream, featuring a library of books and a comfy armchair amongst a collection of indoor ferns. From this vantage, the reader overlooks a sea of red geraniums, punctuated by the conservatory’s own reflection in the moat-like water feature. White trellising provides a backdrop to espaliered trees, while beyond the limits of the water lies a giant flower bed - a floral cornucopia, featuring brilliant shades of blues, pinks, purples and reds.

Hydrangeas make a stately appearance in the garden design. Hydrangea Sundae Fraise makes a perfect complement to the autumn foliage of a row of maples along the side of the conservatory, while at the entrance to the library more traditional blue ball-type hydrangeas sit alongside silver birches, and espaliered olive trees, and rosemary shrubs provide a mediterranean flavour.

Presented by Local Nurseries - a group of 8 of Melbourne’s leading retail nurseries – The Gardener’s Library was awarded a Gold medal, the Best Use of Plant Life award and the MCRI Most Desired Garden Award at last year’s show.