MIFGS 2018 - 'Square 1'

‘Square 1’ goes back to my starting point of designing gardens for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show back in 2004. Back then, I designed an entertaining garden that could go into a courtyard area of a smaller property, or be the finishing point of a larger garden area. ‘Square 1’ has been designed on this same theory.

This garden is the entertaining area of a courtyard garden or the entertaining retreat for a larger garden area. The design of the hard landscaping elements have been done with reservation in mind. Sandblasted bluestone has been used on the horizontal surfaces, the paving, the capping of the walls, the entrance into the garden and the benches (seat and benchtop). The feature walls have been clad using a subway tile style Marble wall cladding in a stretcher bond pattern. These walls create somewhat of an enclosed entertaining area. The soft open style roof line of the pergola completes the feel of privacy and enclosure for this entertaining area while still being able to gaze up at the sky, day or night time while also creating a snap shot of the foliage and branch structure of the feature trees of the garden. The capping of the feature walls hides LED strip lighting making the walls a feature during the evening as well as during the day.

The steps into the entertaining area have been softened with planting running between the entertaining level and the steps to the front of the garden to break up the wide entrance. Planting sneaks around the feature walls into the entertaining area to soften down the hard landscaping elements wherever possible. Planting appears under the cantilevered bench seat and benchtop to soften the edges of the paving and create layers to the garden bed areas. Foliage texture and variation in foliage/plant structure is the main focus of the planting design for this garden. Once again colours of the plants have been selected with reservation in mind. Araucaria heterophylla (Norfolk Island pine) trees have been added to the rear garden area to create vertical structure, upper canopy and backdrop to the entertaining area. It is the first time we have used evergreen trees as feature trees for MIFGS and has been an exciting change to add to the design of this garden. An informal hedge of Prunus lusitanica creates the backdrop to the garden and gives the feel that it could be screening a back fence in somebody’s garden at home.

The external walls of the garden have been added to raise the level of the garden level to hide all footings and structural bases of the hard landscaping elements due to the fact we are not allowed to excavate. These walls are to be finished using Haymes render-tex paint in Natural White and are to be of minimal impact to the overall garden while still fitting into the theme and colour palette of the garden. The main viewing of this garden is from the front, however we have added planting to both sides which creates a couple of sneaky little view lines into the back areas of the garden.

Designed by Candeo Design
Constructed by Semken Landscaping


  • Ajuga 'Tuff and Tidy''
  • Aloe 'Erik the Red''
  • Araucaria heterophylla
  • Arthropodium cirratum
  • Azalea 'Ultimate White''
  • Bergenia sp..
  • Carex 'Frosted Curls''
  • Dianella 'Goddess''
  • Elaeagnus sp..
  • Euonymus 'Green Rocket''
  • Euphorbia 'Silver Swan''
  • Euphorbia wulfenii
  • Fatsia japonica
  • Ficus Figaro
  • Gardenia 'Aimee Yoshiba''
  • Helleborus 'Honey Hill Joy''
  • Hosta 'Perfume White''
  • Ligularia sp..
  • Liriope 'EEvergreen Giant''
  • Myoporum parvifolium
  • Osmant hus fragrans
  • Philodendron 'Lickety Split''
  • Philodendron 'Little Hope''
  • Pittosporum tobira
  • Prunus luisitanica
  • Rhaphiolepis umbellate
  • Sedum 'Lime Zinger''
  • Trachelospermum sp.