This year is the seventh occasion the Trailfinders Australian Garden has presented a garden at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. Wes Fleming of Fleming’s Nurseries headed up the Aussie team along with garden designer Ian Barker of Ian Barker Garden Design and a 14-strong volunteer construction crew led by Matt Seymour and Steve Blencowe of Apex Landscapes.
The team spent 17 days creating a modern day masterpiece of a garden based on the epic journey of The Endeavour with Sir Joseph Banks and his botanical discoveries.
The silver-gilt medal, brings Fleming’s award tally to four gold and three silver-gilt since their inaugural show garden in 2004. Mr Fleming said it was a tremendous honour to receive the Silver GILT medal.
“This is our seventh entry and we have been delighted by our past achievements with four golds and two silver gilts, those in their own right are hugely successful outcomes for us – but this year is truly something unique,”Mr Fleming said.
“The award is testimony to great design by Ian Barker, our amazing and dedicated construction team and the hundreds of hours in pre-production planning that takes more than 12 months to see this garden come to fruition.”
Melbourne designer Ian Barker drew inspiration from the voyage of the HMB Endeavour (1768-1771), where botanist and founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society Sir Joseph Banks catalogued the largest-ever flora and fauna collection from the Southern lands. It was also on this voyage, that the east coast of Australia was first mapped.
According to Mr Barker, “To be selected as a stand out garden in the show this year is without question a career highlight – a once in a lifetime experience.”
Reconstituted Australian limestone forms the backdrop for the garden, representing the cliffs of the Australian coastline as well as the limestone buildings found in Portsmouth, UK, from where Banks and Cook set sail on their epic three-year voyage.
The 2.7 metre high wall grounds the garden and allows the plants to take centre stage. Water is present throughout the garden symbolising the vast stretches of oceans. Barker describes it as a reflection pool reminiscent of the English pond style.
Barker identified the use of sculptural elements to tie the eras together and unify the concept.
Further homage to the ocean journey is paid through the delicate use of pebbling detail on the
landings – the inspiration for the pebble pattern drawn from satellite images of the ocean current.
The overall feel of the design is a rich blend of English/Australian design, history, discovery and adventure.
“The team has produced an incredible result which is justice to the design, theme inspiration, planning and pure hard work that has gone in over the last twelve months - I think even Joseph Banks will be looking down on us with a smile!”, concluded Mr Fleming.
For more information visit www.rhs.org.uk.
Photocaptions: (L-R)Trailfinders Award Winning Garden; Wes Fleming of Fleming's Nurseries , Matt Seymour & Steve Blencowe of Apex Landscapes; Ian Barker of Ian Barker Garden Design.
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