It’s not that what you see in a garden – the colours and textures of its plants – are irrelevant. It’s just that it’s not the first thought when designing one. I have, at times, slaved over ridiculously demanding planting with great feats of horticultural wonder in mind, and having achieved them, found myself curiously dissatisfied. After a lot of soul searching, I’ve concluded that it was my overall layout that was at fault, and no amount of floral brilliance was going to overcome a poorly proportioned design.
This focus on spaces may seem irrelevant to a gardener’s love of growing flowers, or the DIY landscaper who enjoys a weekend constructing a sleeper retaining wall or a built-in barbecue. But when these garden spaces are right – when they feel really good all our floral, botanical and building efforts are magnified in their punch and power. At its simplest, it’s about setting the stage upon which your favourite stars will perform.
Turn over for details about a new garden design show on ABC.
Michael McCoy is coming to our screens as host of the ABC’s new garden design show, Dream Gardens. We talk to him about his latest project and what we can expect
Tell us about your new television series, Dream Gardens
Each episode follows the creation of a single, professionally designed garden, with all the ups and downs that inevitably face a creative project subject to the vagaries of weather, shifting budgets, multiple (and sometimes conflicting) client requests, and other unforeseen challenges.
The gardens are as diverse as the clients and the climates from which they emerge, and are often the result of years of dreaming by their owners. It’s the role of the professional garden designers and landscapers to clarify the dream, then turn that dream into a reality.