Judged and presented by well-known Grand Designs Live hosts Kevin McCloud and Peter Maddison, 'Pollination' was commended for its plant-focused design and the way it highlighted the importance of bees in our urban environments.
The small 4m x 4m garden solved the design challenges of making a small space seem larger while providing functional spaces and attractive internal views. Glenice Buck designed her garden to create a relaxing space for people to enjoy the outdoors and a place for bees to nest and forage in a city environment.
The three walls of the garden were treated in different styles so there were unique views in each direction. A Mondrian-style wall formed the back drop of the garden, painted in soothing pastels of the garden's theme colours of green, pink and purple. A recycled timber skeleton wall echoing those same shapes gave a sense of enclosure while allowing glimpses into the garden. The third side wall had seed-pod shaped hanging sculptures, planted with succulents to make a low-maintenance green wall.
Two timber decks gave the impression that they were floating above a sea of flowering plants - a place for bees to collect nectar and pollen. A wooden day bed offered an inviting place to stretch out on or to simply dangle your feet over the rippling plants. A flowering tree formed a canopy over the timber table, giving a pleasant place to sit.
Hanging 'bee hotels', wittily described by Kevin McCloud as "Bee B&Bs" were designed by Glenice to double as decorative sculptures. Made from recycled metal mesh in the shape of teardrops, filled with pieces of bamboo of various diameters and then hung throughout the timber skeleton wall, these hotels were built to attract native bees to take up residence.
Plants are Glenice's great love, as was shown by her planting palette of a variety flowering species including lavender, escallonia, leucodendrons, raphiolepis, arthropodium, thyme, euphorbia, dianella, and helichrysum. These were chosen not just for their flowering but for leaf colour, shape, texture and form.
Glenice Buck is a qualified horticulturist, landscape designer, consultant arborist and garden writer. She specialises in residential landscape design and loves working with plants. Her projects to date have been based in Sydney and country NSW. However, she is just about to begin work on a design project in New York.
Grand Designs Live Sydney was held over 3 days from 24 - 26 October at the Sydney Exhibition Centre.
The Grand Designs Australia magazine is published by Universal Magazines.