Gosford Quarries has donated the stunning Australian sandstone that highlights the creative design of one of this year's gold-winning MIFGS show gardens, which evokes the struggles of mental health.
Gosford Quarries (GQ) alongside Ryan from MUSA Architecture, and David and Wendy from Transforming Designs Melbourne, collaborated to create their show garden for the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2019, which was centred around improving mental health and supported Beyond Blue. For Ryan, this project was personal as he has many close friends who suffer from depression and other mental health illnesses, who have shared with him the struggle of their lifelong journey as they battle the illness.
“This garden has been inspired by my friends, their bravery and their individual journeys to improved mental health,” explained Ryan.
The garden has a single main axis through it, which connects the spaces within. This element is designed based on an airplane, which highlights the importance of connections to friends, family and places, in addition to representing the wider concept of the journey to improved mental health.
As the beginning of the journey is the hardest – taking the first step to getting help – the beginning of the garden path is very narrow, with close plantings and a gradient path profile, loosely based on the shape of an airplane wing rising up. This space emphasises the importance of connections.
After the difficult first step, the path becomes easier to traverse as it becomes wider and more level, emphasising how the journey becomes easier as steps are taken to improve mental health.
Along the journey is the first social space – a rustic sunken firepit surrounded by plants, which gives the space a feeling of relaxation. This area is located along the path as a reminder that someone suffering from mental health may become withdrawn and find it difficult to socialise, but as the journey progresses they may wish to reconnect with friends and family. This is further emphasised by the main social space being located at the end of the garden and at the end of the journey. This reflects the concept of the journey within the shape of the plane body and is conceptual in nature.
The metal structure in the centre peels back in an inviting manner that defines the space. The plane concept also reflects that what could be a safe and enjoyable experience for one person could be a trigger for anxiety for another.
Sandstone with various finishes was used extensively throughout the garden, creating a personal connection for Ryan as it is linked back to the landscapes of his home among the Blue Mountains and the Great Dividing Range. This connection is further emphasised by the use of the Wollemi Pine, an iconic plant found in the Blue Mountains.
A ‘creek bed’ is reflected to the sides of the path’s slopes, providing negative space to the otherwise full garden. The plants featured predominantly bright colours to highlight the positive aspects of starting the journey to improving mental health.
GQ donated a variety of the sandstone materials, including Hydrasplit blocks, cladding, capping landscaping logs used as seating, and landscaping steps. They also supplied the stepping stones and pavers for the display. The path is divided into eight stepping stones to reflect the number of Australian’s who take their own lives daily.
The team won gold at the show, which was a testament to the hard work from the architects and installers and they passion they felt for the project.
Find out more about Gosford Quarries' extensive range of sandstone solutions by visiting their website below.