Melbourne Home + Design Living – Chelsea 2010
GOING FOR GOLD: AUSTRALIA’S CHELSEA WIN
“After missing the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show in 2009 due to the aftermath of the Black Saturday bushfires, this year the Australian team headed to England more determined than ever to make an impression.”
Despite being among 600 entries in the 2010 Chelsea Flower Show in May, the Trailfinders Australian Garden immediately stood out, attracting attention from visitors, the British media and industry experts.
Designed by Scott Wynd of Melbourne based landscaping, design and construction business TLC, the garden, which was awarded a prestigious gold medal, was constructed by an 18-member team comprised of representatives from ten Australian companies.
Scott Tymkin from Ian Barker and Associates captained the team and project-managed the construction of the garden.
Crew member Ian Barker won gold at Chelsea in 2008. He has picked up medals and commendations for various projects during his career. Tymkin, a former Apprentice of the Year, began working with Barker in 2001.
Wynd has received a string of awards since entering the industry as an apprentice. Most recently, he received assorted medals at Garden Shows in Sydney and Melbourne; last year he won industry awards for best landscape design and best construction under $300,000.
Tymkin, Wynd and Barker shared the Chelsea experience with Melbourne Home Design + Living, letting us in on the highs, the lows, and that winning feeling.
Set amongst dense plants and featuring a pool and sizeable outdoor kitchen space, the Australian entry was at the cutting-edge of innovation and design, offering several different components to explore and marvel at.
“The garden is based around the good life outdoors. The acrylic windows in the pool allow for interaction between the spaces,” Wynd said. “It’s definitely a ‘fun’ garden, built for an Australian lifestyle.”
Extensive use of lush plants gives the garden a jungle quality, creating the feeling that it’s set in a tropical paradise.
“The pool and bar forms the central spine of the garden. Off that, there is a large 5m x 5m pavilion, which is really a multi-functional space that is … a quiet oasis away from the sun or bad weather. Off that again is an even larger roofline that hangs over the pool; the roofline is 10m x 5m, so you can sit in the pool, in the shade, enjoying a drink,” Wynd said.
Other major features of the design are the wet bar, kitchen and sunken lounge.
“The kitchen is in the centre of the garden, so food and drinks spill out into that area. I designed the sunken lounge area to be warm and intimate, to have a sense of enclosure and escape from the other areas but [to ensure people will] still be able to interact or yell out to each other.”
The structural part of the entry wasn’t the only element that made an impression; Wynd’s selection of plants complemented the design and had a big impact on the overall effect of the garden. He revealed he’d had considerable time to plan the plant choices after being originally inspired on a trip to Italy two years ago. “In 2008, we went through Rome and I selected the majority [of the plants in the design]. I picked them out then, so when we got back to see them in 2010, we only viewed them a week before flying in to build the garden.”
Tymkin and Barker were impressed by the plant selections; Barker described them as “some of the most spectacular plants I have ever seen”. The Chelsea judges reflected the sentiment, calling the space “a pleasure to be in”.
Among the plants used in the design were bamboo, large Strelitzia alba and mass use of low growing, rambling plants. It wasn’t just the plants Wynd had to wait for – the garden was originally meant to be built at Chelsea in 2009.
“We were literally about to pack the containers last year when the Black Saturday bushfires [happened], so we quickly abandoned that. The fires ripped through our major sponsor, Fleming’s Nurseries and caused no end of grief. So because of the delay, I actually had two years of planning on this garden.”