Australia wins top award at world's biggest flower show

Contemporary feel: The winning garden features purely Australian native plants.
Contemporary feel: The winning garden features purely Australian native plants. 

Australian gardeners have claimed best-in-show honours at the prestigious Hampton Court Flower Show, London.

The Essence of Australia display, which features more than 50 native plants, was also awarded a gold medal at the Royal Horticultural Society event.

Its designer, Chelsea Flower Show veteran Jim Fogarty, of Melbourne, was humbled my the win.

"I'm genuinely surprised. It's a very Australian garden and I wasn't sure whether the British would take to it or whether it would be too confronting," he said.

Tying in the garden landscapes of Victoria and the Northern Territory, the exhibit is peppered with red gravel and eucalyptus, while a timber-clad structure at the back of the garden echoes rock formations such as Uluru.

A winding serpent-shaped deck inspired by the Aboriginal Dreamtime story of the Rainbow Serpent is a favourite for the designer.

"The story of the serpent was closely linked to horticulture," he said.

"When the serpent was angry it rained, and when it rained there were new plants.

"I think our history and culture is fascinating, and I wanted to use a style of contemporary gardening that tells the story of our own indigenous culture," he said.

Sustainability was also a key feature of the display presented by the Royal Botanics Gardens Melbourne in partnership with Tourism Victoria, Tourism Northern Territory, Qantas and UK tour operator, Trailfinders.

"Not one thing was shipped here, every plant was sourced from Europe and everything will be resourced and donated at the end," Mr Fogarty said.

It's now the second time an Australian has won top honours at a prestigious gardening event in the UK after Wes Fleming's team won best in show at the Chelsea Flower Show last year.

The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show opens to the public on Tuesday.

AAP

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