Sydney in Bloom 2005 Gold Medal Garden

“Sydney in Bloom” was an annual outdoor-lifestyle exhibition show in the format of England’s “Chelsea Flower Show” that celebrated gardening, flowers, sustainability and garden design while making the most of Sydney’s glorious spring weather. The show was run by the organisers of the annual Melbourne International Garden and Flower Show and ran from 2003 to 2005 in Sydney’s Domain.

After success with a Silver Medal debut in 2004, naturally the desire was to improve on that result with a more ambitious project the following year. This came in the form of a double plot with super advanced trees, smart-garden technology and funky retro styling, but again with an equally meagre shoestring budget. Peter’s design for the double plot was inspired by his interest in sustainable design, soft and hard technologies, green buildings (then in their infancy) and his overwhelming desire to convert any under-utilised space into a garden.

So the luscious rooftop-oasis concept was born. If the previous year’s submission was an exercise in subtlety and restraint, the intent for the “retro-rooftop” was to present a green, fun and fabulous spin on lux.

With garden space at a premium in any modern city, courtyards and particularly rooftops have always held a strong fascination for Peter, as once landscaped they are a beautiful vantage point for which to enjoy views of the city. What better way to enjoy a rooftop garden with city views than to share it with as many friends as possible to celebrate and entertain.

With an interest in all eras and facets of modernist design, as well as mid-century pop culture and fashion, it was natural that Pete would want to infuse some fun and a sense of humour into the rooftop, by injecting it with a good dose of 60’s James Bond camp to create a fun and fabulous retro space that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The design cues were not lost on Georgie Reid from MAILDM, who was at the show to review the gardens. “Osmosis’s Gold winning Rooftop Garden was one of my favourites. It was sexy, funky and modern. I loved the strong circular line style, great sequencing and use of different textures. I also enjoyed the colours- bright red, charcoal green and white.”

Early discussions with major sponsors to fully deck out this rooftop of the future with state-of-the-art home automation bells and whistles were exceptionally promising. Though as is often the case with sponsored competition undertakings some of the more ambitious components required scaling back.

It is a testament then to the strength of their passive design elements that even after this scaling back the garden was able to achieve a gold medal