There aren't too many Australians in my village, the locals were delighted with the British & Irish Lions win over the Australian Wallabies in the Rugby Union first test and they let me know. I breathed a sigh of relief when the Wallabies narrowly beat the Lions in the second test. When the Lions clinched their first series win in sixteen years when they trampled the Wallabies in the third and deciding test I became the village target for some good natured ribbing. Neighbours would just happen to pop out while I was walking by their homes to mention the win. My postman took great delight in knocking on my front door and handing me my mail, just so he could discuss the Lions win.
I can barely go out without someone mentioning the Ashes and our Australian teams abysmal performance in the Test Cricket so far. I may have to start walking the dog under the cover of darkness and remove the Aussie flag from our front garden, at least for a while.
I am consoled with the fact, that the Best in Show, Gold medal winner of the Chelsea Flower Show in its centenary year 2013, was The Australian Garden designed by Phillip Johnson. This garden was a showcase of Australia's natural beauty and sustainability. I loved the design, with the billabong, waterfall and all the familiar plants of home. The grass trees, everlastings and kangaroo paws made me homesick and judging by the amount of expat Aussies surrounding me I wasn't the only one!
The personal touches made it very special. The studio was modelled on the Waratah, the flower that Phillip Johnson's father presented to his mother after her return from a lengthy trip, soon after they were engaged. The sound of frogs that were heard, were recorded in Johnson's own Australian backyard. The input of many Australian craftsmen and women, the use of iconic Australian elements and design principles made our Aussie garden stand out. A well deserved winner, they did us proud!