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Small spaces shine in Balcony Garden Competition

Written by Adam Ricco
on April 05, 2023
Ryman Healthcare was delighted to return for the Melbourne International Flower
and Garden Show, presented by Scotts Osmocote, to celebrate and inspire the
green thumb of every Melburnian.

For the second year running, Matt Leacy returned as Ryman's show ambassador to present the Balcony Garden Competition, which showcased the creativity and skill of some of Australia's most talented gardeners.
The competition was open to anyone with a passion for gardening and a small space to decorate.
Each competitor was given a 1.2 x 2.4 metre plot to work with and gardens were
judged on their design, creativity and sustainability.
Matt Leacy commended this year’s winner, Rebecca Mitchell of Little Footprint Studios, whose innovative garden came furnished with a beautiful outdoor setting and a variety of greenery and flowers.
Rebecca Mitchell's winning entry titled Escape To The Balcony.

“You can just see what can be done in such a small space. It’s somewhere you
just want to come and sit down with a friend. It’s got depth, it’s open, it’s got
everything,” Matt said.
Rebecca Mitchell was a paramedic for 18 years, and her career change into
landscaping and gardening could not have gotten off to a better start.
“When I saw that there were some competitions open to the general public through the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 'I thought I'll give it a crack',”
Rebecca said.

Rebecca had dreamed of participating in the Melbourne International Flower and
Garden Show for a long time, and her hard work and dedication paid off in the
form of a beautiful and inspiring balcony garden.

“This happened a lot sooner than I thought. And then to win has just been
incredible. I can't even put into words how exciting it is,” she said.

The Balcony Garden Competition has been a welcome addition to the Melbourne
International Flower and Garden Show, highlighting the potential of small spaces
to be transformed into beautiful and functional gardens.
With more and more people living in apartments and other small dwellings, the competition serves as a reminder that even the smallest balcony can be transformed into a green oasis.

Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village resident Ros Wootton said the Balcony Gardens, as well as the Flower and Garden Show in general, was ‘really inspirational'.

Ros is one of many Ryman residents who have moved from bigger gardens to smaller
spaces that are more manageable and enjoyable to maintain.

“I love seeing what can be done in a small garden — what plants go with what
and the layering of different plants. I come every year for inspiration," Ros
Ros in her garden at Deborah Cheetham Retirement Village.
Other finalists for the Balcony Garden Competition included second place winner Angelina Fox of Porch Envy, for her garden City Sanctuary, and third place winner Mitchell Kushturian of Exotic Living, for his garden Mosman Hideaway.

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