In Summary

Swinburne horticulture students exhibited their design skills to thousands of people at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS).

Diploma of Sustainable Landscape Design student Peta Donaldson became the first female to achieve consecutive show gardens over three years with her submission, ‘The Muse.’

Ms Donaldson won silver for her show garden which consisted of a celebration of contemporary design and emotive elements, in reflection of her personal experience over the last 40 years.

“Swinburne has provided me with the foundations required to start my own business, I am able to provide my clients with a professional approach as well as the knowledge required to deliver the service of garden design,” Ms Donaldson said.

“It was brilliant to be a part of the MIFGS, particularly with the presence of Paul Bangay and Eckersley Garden Architecture, the two designers that influenced my recent decision to become a garden designer. Crowd numbers were higher than any other year and the calibre of show gardens was overwhelming.  It was an honour to be a part of it.”

It wasn’t just current students winning awards this year; Diploma of Sustainable Landscape Design graduate Phillip Withers won the Honda Sustainability Award, which recognises the exhibit that best incorporates sustainable gardening practices and principles.

Mr Withers also received silver for his show garden titled ‘Here & Now,’ a garden design that made use of a small urban family backyard, celebrating the space while carving out a sustainable system to work for a young family’s lifestyle.

“The idea behind ‘Here & Now’ was for it to be more than just a nice looking garden but one that was sustainable and designed for use,” Mr Withers said.

While studying at Swinburne, Mr Withers participated in the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show for the first time in 2011 with an Achievable Garden. 

“Building an Achievable Garden was a great opportunity to introduce my work to both industry and the public. This year was my fourth year at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and I was wrapped to have the sustainable elements of my garden design recognised through the Honda Sustainability Award.”

Swinburne students Danijella Rob, Dannii Keevers, Tamsyn MacDonald Rabey and Benjamin Andrews all entered Achievable Gardens this year which involved creating stylish, functional gardens that could suit anyone's skill level. 

Dannii Keevers received international recognition for her Achievable Garden with an invitation to represent Swinburne at the 2015 Ellerslie International Flower Show in New Zealand