Swinburne talent in full bloom at the 2017 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Thursday 30 March 2017

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Dale Johnson working on the Achievable Gardens Excellence award winning 'Awash with Nature' garden

In summary

  • Swinburne students have won several awards at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
  • Swinburne graduate Phillip Withers was awarded the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show
  • It is Swinburne’s sixteenth year competing in the Achievable Gardens category

Swinburne students have won seven awards including an Achievable Gardens Excellence award at the 2017 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS).

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The 'Awash with Nature' garden

The Achievable Gardens winners are:

  • Awash with Nature
    Designed and built by Diploma of Landscape Design students Dale Johnson, Ross Peck and Liz Beale: Achievable Gardens Excellence award, a Gold Medal and Innovative use of plant life award.
  • Twitter – A Social Media Garden
    Designed and built by Diploma of Landscape Design student Kazimirs Krasovskis: Gold Medal and Achievable Gardens Creative Space Award.
  • Native Hideaway
    Designed and built by Diploma of Landscape Design student Robert Skoblar: Silver Medal.
  • Hobbit’s Retreat
    Designed and built by Production Nursery apprentice, Scott McKenzie: Encouragement Award.

The 'Awash with Nature' team has been overwhelmed with the reception their garden has received, saying they couldn’t have succeeded without the support and wisdom of Swinburne teachers Mike Callaway, Kerry Howard, Stewart Detez, Frank Somerville and the teachings of Ross Uebergang.

It is Swinburne’s sixteenth year competing in the Achievable Gardens category. This category gives competing schools and students the opportunity to showcase their creativity and encourages the use of diverse plants in the landscape.

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Twitter – A Social Media Garden

Nurturing success

Swinburne Landscape Design and Sustainability graduate Phillip Withers, of Phillip Withers Landscape Design took out the show’s two most prestigious awards, the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show and the Gold show award for his garden ‘I See Wild’.

Manager of Horticulture and Environment at Swinburne, Stewart Detez, says it was great to see both Swinburne students and graduates working on and around the show gardens.

“Ben Newell, who completed his Diploma of Landscape Design last year, designed and built a boutique garden at this year’s show.

“Robert Waddell from Waddell Landscapes completed his landscaping apprenticeship several years ago with Swinburne and this year designed and constructed his third show garden,” says Mr Detez.


The Hobbit’s Retreat garden

“I am so proud of our students’ successes, it demonstrates our ability to deliver training that produces real outcomes.

“I am also proud of the team of teachers that assists, supports and keeps the students focussed, during the lead up to and during the show to ensure the students experience is positive and enjoyable, but real, reflecting the real pressures found in industry.”

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show runs from Wednesday 29 March until Sunday 2 April from 9am – 5pm daily.