Swinburne students blossom at 2018 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Friday 23 March 2018

retro urbana

Achievable Garden ‘Retro Urbana’ display. Every plant in this garden was edible… and there were over forty.

In summary

  • Swinburne students, alumni, and teachers won a range of awards at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show
  • It is Swinburne’s 17th year competing at the MIFGS
  • Alumnus Rupert Baynes-Williams took out three awards including City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show

Swinburne students have won five awards including best creative use of space at the 2018 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS).

bonnie funky display studio Bonnie Thexton with her gold medal Achievable Garden and Landscape award for best creative use of space ‘Studio’ display.

It is Swinburne’s 17th year competing in the MIFGS and its 12th 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.

The Achievable Gardens winners are:

• Studio designed and built by Diploma of Horticulture student, Bonnie Thexton: Gold medal and Landscape award for best creative use of space.

• Welcome to Wonderland designed and built by Diploma of Horticulture student Christina Dinakis: Silver Medal.

• The Circles of Life designed and built by second-year landscaping apprentice Brent Peterson: Bronze medal.

• Retro Urbana designed and built by Diploma of Horticulture students Gayle Brenchley and Ricky Haywood: Bronze medal.

Each display takes at least a month to plan and participants have only four days to build it at the show.

wonderland, christinaChristina Dinakis with her silver medalled Achievable Garden ‘Welcome to Wonderland’ display.

The students were proud of the reception their gardens have received and thanked Swinburne staff Michael Callaway, Stewart Detez and Frank Somerville for their support.

gayle retro urbanaGayle Brenchley and Ricky Haywood with their bronze medalled Achievable Garden ‘Retro Urbana’ display.

“One of Swinburne’s focuses is work integrated learning and producing industry-ready graduates. This is a prime example of exactly what that is,” says Manager of Horticulture and Environment at Swinburne, Stewart Detez.

“The students are competing against their peers, being judged by their peers, and under a stringent time pressure to get work done at a high standard.”

brent peterson, circles of lifeBrent Peterson with his bronze medal Achievable Garden ‘The Circles of Life’ display.

Growing graduate success

Swinburne alumnus, Rupert Baynes-Williams on behalf of Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden, took out three of the show’s most prestigious awards: the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show, Gold Show Garden medallist and the Horticultural Media Association Award for Best use of Plant Life in a Garden.

“It was great to see both Swinburne students and graduates working on and around the show gardens,” says Mr Detez.

Ben Hutchinson, who completed a Diploma of Landscape Design, designed and built a Show Garden on display, while Kim Earl of Candeo Design, who also completed a Diploma of Landscape Design, was part of the team to design and build ‘Square 1’, which was awarded Silver Show Garden.

Swinburne landscape design teacher Ross Ubergang also designed and built a Japanese influenced garden.

aust MFIGS LS
Rupert Baynes–Williams’ ‘Australian Case Study Garden’.

“For me, the excitement is to see so many of our current students and alumni, contributing to such a major industry event,” says Mr Detez.

“I would also like to acknowledge the Horticultural and Environmental Technologies teaching team for their support during the build, assisting the students, both physically with the build, and emotionally, encouraging them and assisting them to remain focused on the game plan.

“It’s a huge undertaking that I ask the team each year to perform, and they continue to contribute to this event and student successes.”

The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show runs from Wednesday 21 March until Sunday 25 March.