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Taking on the World - and winning

When Ian Barker of Ian Barker & Associates was approached by Wes Flemings (Flemings Nurseries) to construct the Australian Exhibit at the Chelsea Flower and Garden Show in London his excitement was measured. After over 20 years in the landscaping industry Ian knew what such an undertaking entailed. To participate in the ‘Olympics of landscaping’ was undoubtedly a great honor and a dream come true but did Ian and his partner Scott Tymkin feel they were ready? The answer was an undisputed ‘yes’!

With a growing list of achievements they knew their technical knowledge and established resources were more than up to the task. Their greatest concerns were for their staff and their clients. Staff because they knew such a commitment would impact on staff in all areas of their business and of course only a small number of staff would be destined to make the journey to London.

Clients because Ian and Scott’s commitment to their clients is unsurpassed in their industry. ‘We use the satisfaction of our clients as the only true indicator of our success. Our clients were wonderfully supportive of our decision to go to Chelsea and therefore our time away from our business.’ The logistics involved in preparing to build a garden in London were considerable but Ian and Scott’s planning and dedication to their work in Melbourne received equal attention. With the help of their skilled and trusted staff, the two directors felt more than confident leaving for Chelsea. ‘Planning and communication is the key’, says Ian.

And what of the Chelsea design itself……. ‘The design was captivating’ says Scott. ‘Wonderful elements, so essentially Australian. An expanse of deck, quirky Australian native plants and lots and lots of water.’ ‘Enki Pools has constructed some fine and impressive pools but the pool incorporated in the Jamie Durie/ Patio design was incredible.’ A 60 square metre pool with negative edging on three sides, one curved, bent water feature in the middle to give the appearance of a black hole. The water needing to be at the exact level of the deck and then disappearing under gave us only a 2mm tolerance. To say the pool tested our ability is a fair comment, but the finish result is a perfect mirrored pool reflecting the garden behind. Some of this was constructed in Melbourne, shipped by container to London and then reassembled for the most auspicious event in horticulture.

Finally, after the practicalities, what of the Chelsea experience……

Although Ian and Scotts knowledge is vast they are always keen to develop and expand their skills and vision. ‘Innovative design and construction that meets the needs of our clients is the mantra that inspires and motivates all at Enki Pools and Ian Barker and Associates.’ ‘Competing at Chelsea has further enhanced all aspects of our business. As each garden, pool and client brings the possibility of new ideas and skills the Chelsea experience has also brought new approaches to the way we go about our business. Whilst the hours were grueling and the pressure intense, the benefits to our business and therefore to our clients will be immeasurable. To participate at such a prestigious event was extremely gratifying, to win Gold Medal was the icing on the cake.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Flemings Nursery & Trailfinders, for without their support the journey to Chelsea would not have been possible.

Congratulations to all those at Enki Pools and Ian Barker & Associates for doing Australia proud!!!!




  • Herald-Sun Home Magazine January 2016
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 17
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 15
  • Winner 2013 SPASA award for excellence
  • Herald-Sun Home Magazine March 2014
  • The Age - HomeStyle Feb 2014
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 14 Bisazza
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 14
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 12
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 11
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 10
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 9
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 6
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design Issue 4
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 3
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 02
  • Melbourne Pool + Outdoor Design - Issue 01
  • Melbourne Home + Design Living - Chelsea 2010
  • Backyard & Garden Design Ideas - Issue 9