Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show – Artistic Inspiration in Spades!

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show – Artistic Inspiration in Spades!

What’s not to love about events like the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, that attract international crowds for the love of nature. Is there a more pleasant hobby than enjoying a garden? Not to mention the weather in Melbourne on Sunday was truly delightful and the Carlton Gardens were just buzzing with colour and activity.

Image Courtesy of Semken Landscaping, Melbourne

I got an early start, being on duty for Art Sales for the Diamond Valley Arts Society (of which I’m a member). Every year, various Victorian Artist Societies and Groups collectively exhibit and sell original works with a flower and/or garden theme. Art sales are located on the upper gallery of the Royal Exhibition Building , which is a beautiful design specimen in itself. The art pieces vary from traditional oils, watercolours, pastels, to acrylics, textiles, paper craft, stained glass, mosaic, lino prints, giclee prints… the whole gamut. All for sale – local, affordable art.

The stars of the show are the stunning indoor live floral exhibitions, and the amazing boutique gardens outdoors. Landscaping is not my speciality so my experience is not overly technical, but I can describe my experience in terms of colour and materials…

Landscaping trends in Materials and Colour palettes

Image courtesy of Formboss Steel Edging

Lots of metal work being featured in garden design. Steel edging, fire pits, laser cut and perforated screens, wall décor, garden sculptures… all of it mostly finished with rich rust patina. Not only is Rusted metal perfectly imperfect, but the richness of colour is in direct contrast with green foliage, and therefore it adds a rich layer of colour mix. Talk about metal, there was even an iconic vintage Hills Hoist featured in the award winning “Austalian case study Garden” designed by Eckersley Landscape Architecture and House & Garden.

Also in the boutique gardens I noted the interesting new take on water features… the trickling mini aqueducts. They seem to be spanning from a central pond or water feature, down an incline and settling into another water feature. A marble run comes to mind. It creates movement in the garden and connects the various design elements too. Very effective.  What I also loved about that were the materials. Semken Landscaping’s Award winning garden setting had this “mini aqueduct” paved in a herringbone of unfilled travertine, but shaped as a very squared box gutter. The juxstaposition of soft materials with strong lines resonated so well with the tiered garden design as an overall concept. Very clever.

Lots of sandstone work, thatching, woven furniture pieces, more and more lacy laser cut silhouettes, textural elements and that’s not even touching on the plants themselves! Voluminous grasses, masses of purple and heather coloured plantings, rich autumnal tones in the maples, and my favourite banksias even making appearances.

After I had left for the day (and that was after losing my phone – which let’s face it – is a modern day catastrophe), I was informed that I had a buyer in my “Banksia Impressions I” Limited Edition print. The buyer is a horticulturalist and flower farmer in the USA and I’m thrilled to know my art will be heading abroad!  Check out the beautiful website for Sevier Blumen here. It’s now my daydream to visit this picturesque flower farm in Tennessee; sit, picnic and paint all day long. Maybe one day…

Banksia Impressions I by Giulianna del Popolo of GDP Interior Design

What fabulous connections to be made through love of nature.

Until the next design review,


“Banksia Impressions I” and a small selection of my other works are available to purchase through Bluethumb or by direct email here.