A great bunch of fresh, innovative thinkers with a fantastic database of media contacts
Lowri Elen Jones, Visit Wales
Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne 4 February 2011
‘The Australian Garden presented by the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne' is poised to make history at the 2011 RHS Chelsea Flower Show as the first Australian entry and first Australian designer to be allocated a Show Garden on prestigious Main Avenue.
‘The Australian Garden' is based on the multi award-winning Australian Garden at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, a division of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.
The second and final stage of the 18-hectare Australian Garden will open in 2012, offering visitors from all over the world the chance to immerse themselves in the stories, colours, textures, sounds and scents of Australia.
‘The Australian Garden' tells the story of the metaphorical journey of water through Australia's arid outback eastward to the urbanised coast. The dry riverbed path, outback flowering plants, saltpan and waterhole represent the arid outback. Water appears, bubbling up from the artesian basin, and flows along the water feature in the culturally-significant shape of a hunting boomerang to the coast. The water then reappears as a cascade down the rusted steel gorge wall, and finally disappears into underground aquifers to begin the journey again.
Designed by acclaimed Australian landscape designer Jim Fogarty, the Show Garden gives a snapshot of the diversity of Australia's flora and offers the chance to see some Australian native plants that are rarely seen outside of Australia. Jim is no stranger to Chelsea, having received a Silver-Gilt medal at the 2004 RHS Chelsea Flower Show for his "Australian Inspiration" garden.
All plants displayed, including the turf, are Australian native plants and have been sourced from specialist nurseries in Spain and Sicily through renowned UK plant managers Crocus, with the assistance of Kelways Nurseries.
The Show Garden will feature over 2,000 Australian native plants, including a number of species not commonly seen at Chelsea, such as the iconic Queensland Bottle Tree (Brachychiton rupestris); 25 varieties of Grevillea, including the intriguingly-named Grevillea ‘Spiderman'; and the distinctive Firewheel Tree (Stenocarpus sinuatus).
The extensive plant list also includes a selection of rare and threatened species, some of which have previously been sent to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project, including:
- Buchan Blue Wattle (Acacia caerulescens)
- Mountain Hickory Wattle (Acacia obliquinervia)
- Spinning Gum (Eucalyptus perriniana)
- Gorge Gum (Eucalyptus saxatilis)
- Fragrant Saltbush (Rhagodia parabolica)
- Hairy Darling-pea (Swainsona greyana)
The dedicated and passionate team behind the Australian Garden entry is led by Dr Philip Moors, Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and a qualified ecologist with over 30 years' experience. Dr Moors has worked closely with Jim Fogarty to create a vibrant Show Garden that will cement the Australian Garden as an essential part of any visit to Australia.
For more details on the Australian Garden, visit www.rbg.vic.gov.au.
- ENDS -
Media enquiries and images: Katie O'Brien, 9252 2470 or 0409 507 485