MIFGS 2023: Bringing the Mediterranean to Melbourne by Annabel Jane Johnston

Describe your garden in 5 words

Mediterranean, herbaceous, lush, up-cycle, evergreen

Which plant was the hero of your garden and why?

Irish strawberry tree – it seemed to catch the attention of many visitors bringing back childhood memories or curious about what the fruit tree is. I chose it not only because it is native to the Mediterranean but also has an attractive red stringy bark that exposes the cream coloured bark underneath. I absolutely love the branches of a Crepe Myrtle but wanted to include a species less seen in todays gardens.

What was an obstacle you had to overcome and how did you do it?  

Fear and the unknown. I feel like I’m pretty adaptable and don’t mind working under pressure so knowing that you could only do so much ahead of time helped in pushing ahead without dwelling on all minor details like not actually planting the plants.

What piece of feedback will you always remember?

I remember people saying to just back yourself you’ve been chosen for a reason so now it’s your time to shine and don’t undersell your ability to clients. I remind myself of that often.

The stage is yours, what do you want to say?

MIFGS went so quickly and if I had it again I’d slow down and absorb all the conversations. I’m always open to garden discussions and learning from others whether it be plant nerding, design or construction so please connect if you want to bounce ideas as there’s so much to explore

Photos supplied by Annabel Jane Johnston

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