Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show - Part 1: The garden that made me smile...

30 degree's and sunny was the forecast, a perfect opening day for the MIFG show (if not a little steamy). It was busy from the get go but turned out to be well worth the visit. Most of the gardens on display didnt offer anything new, in that I mean the designs were great and very pleasing but also quite 'safe'. Only a handful of gardens really pushed the boundaries and provided some elements of surprise. I felt there was less emphasis on architectural elements than past shows and a strong trend towards native plants and flowers.

In part 1 of the MIFGS post I will show you the first garden that really made me smile. In the next post I'll delve into the reoccuring theme of the 3 R's - Reduce Reuse Recycle.

That very night in Max's room a forest grew...

As I turned the corner after viewing perfectly lovely garden after garden of sophisticated style, the sight of the Wild Things brought a smile to my face. Maybe it was the fact I had just watched the movie trailer [that brought tears to my eyes] the night before, or maybe it was just refreshing to see a garden design that wasnt based around the average urbanite couple with no kids but I really loved this garden "Where the wild things are".
Designed by Heather Mitchletree a student at the University of Melbourne, the garden is of course based on the story of the same name by Maurice Sendak. When I asked Heather why she choose this story as her inspiration her answer was quite simple, she felt the modern garden design wasn't catering for children and she wanted to encourage kids to get outside and experience the garden, using their imagination. I too think gardens are an important part of children's imaginative play, having grown up in the country where we played and interacted with nature on a daily basis, I love the idea of creating an intriguing landscape where children can romp, stomp and roar! Here's a little something from Heather's Design explanation -

Green tufts of grass
spring up out of the bed,
And up shoot plants with
Leaves of green, purple and red.

Wolf suit on,
There's a wild jungle to explore;
A garden in which to
Romp, stomp and roar.

With a private boat
On which to sail near & far,
Or perhaps to the land
Where the Wild Things are.

Peek through the window to the Island of the Wild Things, and over to the private boat and beyond. What were once the floor boards of the bedroom become the jetty for the boat, and around the boat are waves made from Acousti-Mat that glow at night.

Incorporated in the bed structure are monkeybars for the Wild Things to swing on. Heather also painted and hand cut all the characters in her garden. This was by far my favourite garden design, I think having 2 boys and being a fan of the book probably makes me a bit bias but I think you will agree that "Where the Wild Things are" is a delightful outdoor space.

For those that love the book take a peak at the trailer - Where The Wild Things Are - warning: if your partial to tears this one will get you, the combination of the nostalgic visuals and the lyrics to the song ["Wake Up" by Arcade Fire - rewritten for the movie] are enough to make me cry everytime I watch it - but I am a sucker!
PS - This was actually filmed in Gembrook, Victoria (Australia) So the landscape was very familiar to me.