French landscaping innovation at 2019 Lifestyle Design Show

French landscaping innovation at 2019 Lifestyle Design Show

Interested in innovative landscape trends in South Africa?

The 2019 Lifestyle Design Show features seven 'Chelsea Flower Show' style gardens - combined into a single landscape entity.  

The theme of the show is la vie est belle, meaning 'Life is Beautiful' and the gardens are a celebration of French influences in local landscaping styles.

Designed by the lecturers of the Lifestyle College and built by the students, the seven French gardens at the show include the following themes ...

* Classical French gardening of the Renaissance period of the 1400’s
* Freedom and modern expression of today’s French lifestyle.
* The grandeur and gravitas of a classical French formal vista;
* A striking country meadow to the dizzy heights of alpine drama.
* A softly ambient alfresco dining and cheerfully colourful town square;
* Modern contemporary rooftop apartment chic – all with a twist; sometimes playful, sometimes intriguing. 

Plan of the 2019 Lifestyle Garden Design Show - depicting seven French-themed gardens
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Soup and Salad - Potager Garden  

As a basic annex to the main grand classical garden, the traditional potager, or kitchen garden, is a practical, sunken edible designer space with a feeling of full enclosure reflected in the walled classical edible gardens of yesteryear.

The garden nestles comfortably within a backdrop of aged faux brickwork tones. Espaliers, fans and features festoon the walls giving the setting a look of complete fullness.

Here the traditional meets the quirky where an edible space embraces features for the young and young at heart. A funky picket curtain composition frames a sinuous planter dragon in a jolly gambol of staggered spacing.

Inside, standing sentry on either side of an arched brick portal and serving as dual packing-cum-workbench area are stacked printers trays composed using a mixture of sized wooden planters.

Herbs and vegetables spill over a tiered raised planter central to the garden in a riot of scrumptious visual, tactile and taste composition.

Fruit trees complete the menu as they meander and melt into the adjoining woodland flowing towards the Provencal woodland beyond.

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Potager garden
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Potager garden
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Classical formal landscape
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Classical Formal Landscape - Classique Mystique 

This grand garden showcases classical formality, but with a twist or two. The garden is essentially a celebration of traditional French renaissance landscape design that seeks to impose the will of people on the natural surrounds – a perceived improvement on nature.

The garden features grandiose wide open vistas on a strong axial backbone, centered by an imposing stacked focal water feature.

Elements in the garden are designed to create a feeling of awe through exaggerated height and features that are essentially larger than life. This emphasises the renaissance approach to reflect wealth and influence.

In the classical tradition, green planting dominated by topiaries and hedges as a backdrop is embroidered throughout the garden with subtle whites and greys where planting colour serves only as accent – introducing striking drama and focality for best effect.

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Potager garden
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Classical formal landscape
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Classical formal landscape
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Classical formal landscape
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Landscape in Provence - Serenzippity

The garden is inspired by Provence in southern France but with a very special twist all of its own.

The garden showcases the effectiveness of contrasting colour in planting as a variety of yellow blooms present their sunbeam hues as a foil to plants bearing cool blue blossoms delivering quintessential floral variation.

Mediterranean meets woodland as gently swaying grasses unify the soft tree copses with the bright colour swathes.

An eco-sensitive presence permeates the bold floral and structural setting via gaily painted beehives and a unique bespoke bug hotel, whilst labyrinthine spires, framed by pergola sentries, pierce into the fourth dimension.

Central to the meadow lies a softly bubbling millstone nestling in a cobbled zipper embrace, whilst backdrops of rural Provençal vistas wrap the garden in a masterpiece of scenic wonder.

The composition is one of fantasy– a mystical sense of the ethereal set within familiar surrounds.

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Landscape in Provence
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Landscape in Provence
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Alpine landscape
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Alpine landscape
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Alpine rocks! Alpine landscaping

A real other worldly space where a moonscape of crater-like ring-mounds meets lofty alpine height.

A place to meander in tight circles around rock encrusted craters and pebble curtains. Far from being placed in natural order, boulders and rocks are contrived into an art form. 

Here is a place to expect the unexpected where rocks and boulders move from the ordinary to the extraordinary. From the ground the garden is vertically thrust into inner space to emulate the steepled edifices that are the hallmark of alpine pinnacles.

Stacked trellis work set as a zigzag of sinuous arcing screening seams through the interior as it meanders through majestic prominent baobab trees and spiky architectural plant forms.

Plants of extraordinary uniqueness form the floral backbone of this quirky and astonishing setting. The idiosyncratic permeates and interlaces throughout to engender a climate of unearthly rugged splendour.

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Alpine Landscaping
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A la carte alfresco landscaping
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Town Square Landscaping
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A la carte alfresco landscaping

Shaded intimacy meets gastronomic sophistication and soft romantic glamour in a relaxed, laid back setting with a dash of moodiness.

The setting offers a strong sense of social inclusion or social exclusion depending on proclivity and preference. Small cocktail tables set under a wood and steel pergola offer seclusion with living green screens dividing the spaces into informal nooks.

Softly bubbling water features sunken into the aged cobble sidewalk alternate with street trees in a playful staggered caper adding to the calming aura permeating the space. A dramatic faux rill cuts through the avenue of trees adding interest, surprise and drama.

The softly muted colours that define this street scene slowly starts to transform into brighter colour palettes suggesting a more vibrant milieu as the journey moves from subdued softness to carnival cheer via a flower market bursting with vibrant floral colour, scent and texture.

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A la carte alfresco
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Town Square Landscaping
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Town Square Landscaping
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Town Square Landscaping
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Bouquet - Town Square Landscaping

Leading off from the alfresco dining scene, the town square appropriately called “bouquet” features a veritable riot of colour underscoring the carnival atmosphere.

Set against a backdrop of brightly rendered walls and steeped in the comfort of ages, the sunken town setting is centred by a traditional town fountain on a raised plinth and wrapped within the embrace of an arched cloistered walk in cool aqua finish.

This space is reminiscent of a small hamlet arcade characterised by street trees sunk into the cobbled surface and bench seating.

An extravaganza of floral planting in a lavish display of bursting colour paints the scene in a celebration of expressionist wonder.

Strung overhead across the small plaza and evocative of funky suspended aerial décor is a vibrant bevy of richly hued brollies adding and rounding off the festival ambience.

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Rooftop apartment space
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Rooftop apartment space
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Rooftop apartment space
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Green Scene - Rooftop Apartment Space

In pursuit of greening trends for walls and rooftops, this space offers chic, uncluttered rooftop living and grand city skyline vistas.

A bold interplay on contemporary geometries where play on materials is paramount. Controlled but bold planting of topiary fuses with architectural cycas plants on the one hand and sleek concrete spheres on the other. Form is either contrasted or complemented.

Underpinning the sculptural planting are swathes of deep electric blue magnifying the sense of contemporary sophistication and neon luminescence.

A high-rise apartment space boasts a planted green wall wraparound dominated by rich ornamental grasses on the outside and trendy synthetic lawn on the inside. As a dramatic focal feature, a boldly contrived triple tier water cascade that dominates the far wall is flanked by rich indoor planting inspired by lush Tropicana.

Living life on top of the world in an on-trend urban setting with a feel of head-spinning aerial awe. A small but exclusive seating area overlooking the Parisian cityscape – a place to relax and take in the city scenes from a lofty Shangri-La.

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FACT FILE

  • Visit the 2019 Lifestyle Garden Design Show 
  • When: 16 February 2019 until the end of May 2019
  • Where: Lifestyle Home Garden, Cnr. Beyers Naude Dr & Ysterhout Ave, Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg. 
  • Entrance is free.