Trend report

The annual Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) is the place where top designers and growers from across the country converge to celebrate their talents and show off what’s hot in Australian horticulture. Here’s what we saw trending in contemporary garden design.

While the paving and pavilions were still present, plants took centre stage in this year’s MIFGS show gardens. There was a shift away from formal planting themes, with many gardens indulging in a plant-rich display of ‘cultivated wildness’. Australian natives were used extensively, and skilfully combined with exotics and edibles. Every available space was used for planting, including walls and rooftops, with plants attached to posts and pushed into cracks in pavements. Weeping and dangling plants were all the rage, grafted on to standards and cascading from hanging baskets, further supporting the trend to saturate a space with planting while creating a sense of calm and refuge.

In the June issue, you can see the prize-winning MIFGS show gardens, with insights into the creative process of the designers. We also visit a private garden in Melbourne that shows how simplicity and restraint can be a garden’s strengths, and Michael McCoy continues his design series with a discussion on the role of the ‘support cast’ in helping to make your star plants shine even brighter.