Phillip Withers and Semken Landscaping are both part of the Gardenworld team. Phillip designs beautiful gardens and Semken builds them.
Last weekend they were in Sydney for the first ever Australian Garden Show, and their garden was awarded a Silver medal.
So I’m back on solid ground after being up in Sydney for a couple of weeks taking part in the Australian Garden Show and all I can say is what an experience it became! And what a great effort the show put together in such a short period of time to get it to where it did.
My feeling was that both the inspirational and urban gardens were of a great standard and set a great bench mark for the standard of gardens for years to come. Gardens such as Brendan Moar’s ‘Suspended’ which became best in show and September sky by Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Tom Harfleet were truly imaginative and inspirational and I could here first hand from the public that they were blown away by there interest.
I was lucky enough to also take part in putting an inspirational garden together entitled Viridus ‘Green and Blooming’ which was quite the challenge in the 6 week period leading in. Though lucky enough I had the support of a great group of individuals led by Outdeco and Limestone Australia whom presented the garden and Semken Landscaping whom built the garden – we pulled it off to create something really special. The feeling from our cabin was met with an overwhelming amount of support both for the garden at day and at night and we were very pleased to be awarded with a silver medal and a groundswell of support in the ability of translating the garden into a Sydney courtyard atmosphere, which is definitely something I was a little apprehensive about being from Melbourne.
Its really nice to be able to go from my everyday of designing gardens in Melbourne to adapt and recognise plants suited to a slightly more warmer climate. There’s so many plants in our kingdom and so many that will work in separate conditions, so for me I love to be able to step into different shoes to work with some different shapes and hints of a more daring tropical notion.
One of the real keys I felt the show provided and can build upon was being open into the evening, it was a special feeling each night at dusk to watch the park slowly bridge into a whole different experience. The lights dimmed, the mood set and the gardens were brought into change, into excitement. See I feel having gardens open at night can do more then one recognises as it creates a whole different experience for the viewer, here we get a chance to create moods within a space and it lets gardens become atmospheric and challenging.
I really believe in this process and I feel it builds an even greater audience to our sport of gardens. So not just plant enthusiasts and garden lovers can appreciate a show experience but so the wider public engage as I feel they started to at the show. They could sit back and enjoy there drink of choice at the Harvest bar and have a chat to people involved and watch over the show in all its glory.
See Its funny when you become involved in a garden show in its first year, many wonder how it will go, there’s questions marks everywhere other than from the people that truly believe in it and put everything into it to make it work. So I can’t thank all of these people enough for the opportunity in creating an event that I feel has a great future and will only get better over the next couple of years. So I sit here leaning back in my chair and step back into reality and I can say that I’m so glad I was involved and saw the success of the first ‘Australian Garden Show’ this year.