Each year, one student each from the Master of Urban Horticulture and the Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture are selected to display a garden installation of their own design in the 'Avenue of Achievable Gardens' at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show
'It's all in your perspective' - First prize
Peter Grant, Associate Degree of Urban Horticulture
Inspiration is drawn from the railways and roadsides of Melbourne; bringing a different context to offer a different perspective.
Peter Grant's installation 'It's all in your perspective' explores the simple beauty of the cityscape, challenging the notion of a boring and mundane daily commute through an unappreciated urban landscape.
The most simple recycled materials have been used here, reimagined to form a textured tapestry that characterises Melbourne’s streets. The contrast between bricks, bluestone, concrete and timber forms the framework of the garden, and the way the materials are arranged plays on the concept of straight lines; something present on many scales in our city.
The planting palette of Peter's installation plays on the features of common urban vegetation, bringing them into a different context. In the city, plants often thrive in harsh conditions, creating overgrown landscapes. For this reason, the straight lines of hardscaping materials in this garden are purposefully interrupted by vegetation, so that when moving through the garden you are directed by the plants rather than the path itself.
The plants in Peter's installation should look familiar from the streets, with other plants chosen to bring familiar colours and forms to the garden; think grass growing through the cracks in the driveway, the growth habit of weeds next to a railway, or the colours you might see while driving.
'When Melbourne’s rainfall encounters Jiangnan'
Nuonan Lu, Master of Urban Horticulture
When the rain falls in Melbourne, the weather leads me to dream of the soft rain of the Jiangnan area in China.
For Nuonan Lu, Melbourne rain is reminiscent of downpours in the Jiangnan area of China. Jiangnan nurtured the Chinese literati, influenced garden culture in East Asia, and now inspires Nuonan's installation, based on a traditional Chinese scholar’s garden.
Rather than repeat the existing components of Chinese traditional gardens, Nuonan's installation integrates Chinese and Australian plants to create the mood associated with Oriental aesthetics. In this garden,bamboo stems shake in the wind whilst tenaciously standing straight, representing integrity. Drops of water falling on canna and banana leaves are like music, the broken leaves representing impermanence in life. Cordyline, their Australian counterpart, is also incorporated. Additionally, Japanese maples reflect seasonal change as the soundscape of rain brings people into the scene of a rainy day in both Melbourne and Jiangnan.
Nuonan reflects on the meditation space of a Ming Dynasty scholar’s courtyard with his installation, creating a small Utopia to invite contemplation. This garden wraps around an oval void, surrounding it with lush plants, to translate the enclosed sense of a sixteenth century bamboo pavilion into a contemporary Melbourne setting.
Thanks to Humphris Nursery and Speciality Trees for their generous donation of plant stock for Nuonan's garden.