By James Wall.
Last Thursday night my wife and I were fortunate enough to attend a book launch of Jamie Durie‘s new book 100 Gardens. It was organised by Beaumaris Books and took place at True South brewery in Black Rock.
The book is basically colour photographs of 100 gardens that Jamie has designed. There is just a one paragraph description of each garden and these are to be found at the back of the book. You might think that this is a book without much substance, but you must consider that the photos are large and of high quality. From these photos you can gain quite a bit of insight as to the materials used and the craftsmenship of the gardens.
The types of materials and plants used are also of interest to those of us mere mortals who spend odd weekends trying to reach our never ending destination that Durie has already reached at least 100 times.
Jamie took us on a journey through the book, explaining the inspiration and ideas behind each project, beginning with his pad in LA with a bedroom that opens out to a vertical garden walled courtyard sublimley paved in bluey grey, with 2 pod chairs hanging from a pergola. Truely idyllic and such a perfect example of Jamie’s mantra of bringing the outside in.
There was also mention of Paul Bangay and the opportunity and encouragement he gave to Jamie early on. Also of note was the desire to use sustainable materials and waterwise plants. An example of this was garden 60 at the Sydney Botanic Gardens where he designed curved weathering steel structures surrounded by cacti and succulents, including the stunning barrel cacti.
During question time, a lady asked what to plant in a ‘dreaded’ south facing garden near the coast. Although Durie failed to mention a plant she could use, he did suggest she either raise or lower part of the garden to create a little protected zone to plant plants in. I thought this was good advice as I do believe you can create ‘micro’ cliamtes. Our winter southerlies would hit this garden hard, so any protection would be of benefit.
If anything, this book doesn’t so much just highlight the designs and ideas of Durie, but showcases the wonderful work done by the landscapers, pavers, carpenters and other ‘tradies’ who have taken the ideas of a designer, and turned them into reality…… and lets not fail to forget not only the wholesale growers, but the people who source those plants from their various locations.
As a matter of fact even I have sourced some plants for Jaimie – some tassel ferns that he used for a display at The Melbourne Exibition Centre. On reminding him of this he thanked me, and enthusiastically said, “I Love Tassel Ferns”.