MIFGS 2023: Outback Shinrin-Roku by Laura van Wensveen

Describe your garden in 5 words

Native, sustainable, simple, peaceful and flowing

Which plant was the hero of your garden and why?

The plant everyone asked about in my show garden was the Eucalyptus cinerea ‘Silver Shadow’. I think it was the hero in my design because it fits nicely in the centre of the design without dominating the space, and its beautiful silver foliage complemented the cool colours of the surrounding walls. It’s an excellent feature tree for small temperate gardens as it is a hardy native with a compact form.

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

I had to experiment and ‘wing it’ with my water feature. I wanted to use an old wagon wheel ring I found on Gumtree a few years back. However, it had no base to fill water in, and we could not dig or damage the ground at Carlton Gardens. I wasn’t feeling confident, but I found a plastic clam shell pool that miraculously had the exact dimensions I needed! It was risky but ended up working really well. Once the rocks and the ring were installed, you couldn’t tell what was underneath.

What piece of feedback will you always remember?

Costa from Gardening Australia loved my garden! He interviewed me and told me he appreciated the sustainable approach to the design and that it had the flexibility to fit into any space.

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

I want to say thank you to all who came to see my garden. I aimed for a sustainable design that could be easily replicated and achievable, and I think I succeeded. The materials are sustainable and locally sourced, the plants are low maintenance and native to provide habitat, and the dry riverbed design helps tackle common site issues such as poor drainage. If you would like a similar design on your property, or just want a chat, please get in contact!

Photos supplied by Laura van Wensveen

Laura van Wensveen Landscape Design Instagram Here

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