Category Archive: People

“Wild At Heart” wins 1st prize in Boutique Garden Competition

Emmaline Bowman is one of the new generation of Landscape Designers. A woman brought up in the Gippsland countryside, Emmaline practices what she preaches. Her belief in using native plants was seen first hand in this years Melbourne International Flower & Garden  Show where she won first prize in the Boutique Garden Competition. Now her company, Stem Landscape Architecture & Design is now going to be in high demand, to create more of her wonderful gardens.

The garden Emmaline designed was all about bringing nature into your own backyard. We can all have our own little piece of nature, no matter how small our garden is. It’s not just about using native plants, although that’s a good start. It is about creating a habitat, and this might include water, little home for insects and the acceptance that insects, birds, and animals are all a part of it.

The garden was aptly named, “Wild At Heart” To enter this competition, the garden had to be 5m x 5m in size. It was a beautiful garden that expressed itself well. It was also well built (all above ground) and was judged to be the best in its category. One of the features was a vertical garden of water plants running into a pond.

Here is what Emmaline’s submission said about the garden:

‘Wild at Heart’ is a garden designed to integrate Australia’s native flora and fauna into a retreat for people to unwind and reconnect with nature. It is a conservation project bringing Australia’s unique natural environment into urban backyards; unifying rehabilitation with the opportunity for people to once again experience nature in everyday life.

Working as a system, it is a place where water naturally cools the air as it trickles down a planted wall into a pond that winds down past the recycled timber deck and where native frogs provide a wonderful symphony of melodic tunes amongst the flowering water plants. It is where misshapen stones and boulders provide homes for skinks and geckos to feast on the insects that are drawn into the garden, and where native bees and insects pollinate the numerous native flowers and edible plants.

This garden provides a space where one can step back into nature, away from the harsh sounds, smells and bustle of city and urban life, to a place where nature works effortlessly. Children can observe and discover Earths own creations as children did in years past. It is a place that allows you to unwind as you relax on a suspended day bed with a beverage and your favourite book.

Gardenworld was proud to provide plants towards this project. Lotus Watergardens also provided the murray river rainbows – a small native fish that lived in the pond.

Link: Stem Landscape Architecture & Design

A unique garden in Camberwell.

By James Wall.

This morning we were thrilled to visit an open garden in Camberwell, an inner suburb of Melbourne. I think the houses are Edwardian in the area and most of them seem beautifully restored. This house’s owner, Natalie had also created a beautiful garden.

Carex grass adds an interesting dimension to the perennial border

Verbena bonariensis was a highlight

The design was inspired by English garden designer Dan Pearson and included hazy drifts of summer flowering perennials combined with swathes of ornamental grasses and with some deciduous trees dotted around. The combination of flowers and grasses certainly created a great contrast of foliage and structure.

Miscanthus sinensis "Flamingo"

The front garden was built first. It creates a mature look, befitting of the street. Once inside on the front lawn, the plants really blend well but at the same time stand out individually as heroes. I felt welcome, but not overwhelmed.

Love the pavers and the Gingko biloba trees.

 Kay Paris magnolia, buxus balls and blue heliotrope.

Kay Paris magnolia, buxus balls and blue heliotrope.

Ficus hillii makes a great backdrop.

Hydrangea quercifolia

Native violet - Viola hederacea

olives on left and lemons on right

The backyard was a family orientated area. There were vegies in concrete pipes, amazing espaliered olives and lemons and also a pool.  The original pool was plonked right in the middle of the garden, where the fescue lawn now is. with requirements of pool fences these days, it would have been such a waste of space. The good thing about removing the pool was that 2 x 12,500 litre concrete water tanks were put in its place, enough to water the garden and top up the new pool, which is on the edge of the block – much more sensible.

It was an awesome garden to visit and Natalie has great vision. Enjoy some of the photos below, and hopefully you get some inspiration for a little piece of your garden……

Funky Forest Pansy

Oregano used between paving.

Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' and Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Acer-x-freemanii 'Autumn Blaze'

Creeping Thyme

Asparagus meyeri as the hero.

Calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' from the street.

What a cool piece of climbing !

A landscaper’s garden.

By James Wall.

After doing a couple of deliveries this morning, I realised that I was right near one of the gardens in this years Garden Designfest – a bi-annual event held by the Rotary Club to raise money for charity.

The idea of the event is for Landscape Designers to showcase particular gardens that they have designed and arranged to be built. It is a great for the sharing of ideas and results in the creation of trends. Most importantly, it showcases great ways to utilise plants.

The garden belonged to Mark Pedley, owner of Ingardens Landscaping. Existing trees on the property dating back to the 1930s dictated the design which includes simple curves which soften the area, along with a large bluestone entertaining area, a small lawn and a formal pond which was lovely and clean.

Lychnis

One of the flowering plants that was used frequently were the Lychnis, which Mark said go well for about 3 years or so. They certainly looked healthy right now, with their silvery foliage and pink flowers; also some were white.

Westringia background, pink lychnis and yellow heuchera

The giant pruned balls of westringia did not look out of place, and complimented the rest of the plantings well. Another impressive background plant was the smokebush at the end of the garden. It has enjoyed Melbourne’s long cold winter and is at it’s peak.

smokebush in background

The pond looked simple but elegant. It was exceptionally clean which Mark said was easy with the filtration system hidden in the garden which involves the process of running the water through the UV system.


In the smallish backyard, there were some impressive olive trees with commanding trunks. Also impressive was the row of Cupressis that were a very effective screening along the boundary, but also situated in a very narrow garden bed. Mark said the secret was to plant them much less than a metre apart. It was certainly a nice change from lily pillies, in which few varieties would have stayed this narrow.

All in all, this garden was a nice place to be and with a little more growth in the next few years, it will be even better, and owner Mark should be even prouder.

A Garden Club in May

By James Wall.

Last night I was privileged to visit the Springvale Garden Club’s monthly meeting.  If you don’t think much is going on in the garden in May, then have a look at the plethora of entries that the judge had to sift through last night.

Not only was the number of categories impressive, but the little signs were also very cool.

These photos were taken during judging, so not all the first prizes had been awarded. You be the judge yourself, and decide what you like:

flower of the monthThe flower of the month was of course yellow. The vireya rhododendron on the left therefore could not qualify as it contained some orange.

fruitThose japanese mandarins were massive and the raspberries tasted sweet as (I was fortunate to get a couple later on).

Chives, parsley and garlic chives made up the herb section.

floristryThere was some amazing floristry done, including the all natural boat below that was made in the end of a palm frond.

boatThese specimens were looking pretty good !

The pot plants of cacti and succulents were interesting as were the pot plants of foliage below.

The flowering shrubs and berries were colourful, and the superb grevillea ‘Apricot Glow’ on the right took out first prize.

A close up of an interesting zygopetalum orchid.

The competion in the cut flowers category was tight, but the freshly flowered bromeliad took out he award. See the close up below.

We finish with the table that created a lot of interest and it was of course called ‘Something Of Interest’. What you do is bring along something that you know what it is, and you educate other people. What a great idea. Thanks for all these photos goes out to the members of the Springvale Garden Club, May meeting 2016.

Gloriosa Lily Seed Pod

Hippeastrum seed pod - red

 

Scarlet runner bean seeds

 

Gumnut in stages.

Best second year apprentice award goes to Heidi Brooks

Recently,  Swinburne University of Technology held their Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony.

Our own Heidi Brooks was nominated for Best 2nd Year Apprentice of the Year 2015 Nursery Award.

……..And we are pleased to announce she won !

Heidi has shown consistent aptitude and a willingness to learn. She has had big shoes to fill with 2 previous award winning former apprentices working at Gardenworld.

Heidi is a well respected team member and and has incredible plant knowledge for someone her age. Next time you are in the nursery, you can be confident of getting the right information and advice courtesy of our highly trained horticulturalists, including our recent award winner Heidi Brooks. Congratulations !

Proprietor James Wall, Heidi Brooks and General Manager Jason Hilborn at the awards night.

Proprietor James Wall, Heidi Brooks and General Manager Jason Hilborn at the awards night.

Paul Bangay’s Stonefields

By Tim White.

Having booked tickets to see Paul Bangay’s “Stonefields” garden in support of Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation (a not-for-profit charity that delivers food education to Australian children) a couple of months ago, we were looking forward to seeing this magnificent garden and hoping the weather would be kind to us. Fortunately we encountered a perfect day that was neither too hot nor raining and were able to enjoy the garden which is not usually open during Autumn. This meant we were able to see the beautiful trees transforming through their magnificent Autumn colours before they headed to their winter dormancy.

The land for Stonefields was purchased in 2003 and the villa and gardens completed in 2006. The design of the villa ensures that there are plenty of views of the exquisite gardens and beautiful Macedon Ranges through the use of terracing of the sloping property. The garden is surrounded by magnificent Manna Gums (Eucalyptus viminalis) up to 400 years old and blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon) providing a wonderful backdrop to the enclosed garden once you are inside it.

The garden is divided into different rooms, each with its own theme but linked to the others with repeated shapes or plants. Hedges of Ligustrum vulgare (common privet), Crataegus (hawthorn), Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) and x Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leyland cypress) form the green walls of the rooms and these are meticulously trimmed by a full time gardener.

Walking through the entrance to the garden you first encounter a secluded courtyard the centrepiece of which is a square pond with a clipped box hedge in the middle. From there your eye is drawn to a perfectly circular hole in the hedge on the opposite wall that gives you glimpses of the villa enticing you to see what lies beyond.

The Blue Borders garden is just that – a beautifully laid out garden with blue flowered perennials framed with box hedge. Through the centre of the paving that steps down through terraces runs a simple stream that is interrupted by several snake sculptures spitting water, created by Melbourne based artist Ivana Perkins. This guides your eye to the front door of the villa which has snake door handles to complete the theme.

The tulip parterres garden is amazing with the precision and intricacy of the box hedging. This along with the rest of the garden changes with the seasons and would take on a completely different appearance at different times of the year – the tulips planted in this garden are dormant at the moment. Stonefields is a garden you could visit often and be surprised at the seasonal transformations and its changing appearance.

Other garden “rooms” at Stonefields include the Apple Walk, Rose Garden, Herb Garden, Veggie Garden and Pool Garden. If you get the chance and it opens again next time, I would highly recommend a trip out to Stonefields which is in Denver, about 80mins from Melbourne not far from Kyneton.

Garden Clubs alive and well.

By James Wall.

Garden Clubs seem to be having a resurgence. Last week I spoke at the Frankston Garden Club and there was a good turnout of at least 40 odd members. A couple of days later I was at the Mill Park Garden Club and there were even more people. It was a long time since I had spoken there  – a quick check of the visitors book showed I was the fifth ever speaker at the club back in 1995 ! A bit scary hey. It was a hive of activity with books, display table, raffles and of course excellent treats to go with a cuppa at the end.

Today I also visited the Melbourne Begonia Society Show at Moorabbin. By 10 am there were 150 people jostling to buy the beautiful specimens on sale. I was amazed at some of the leaf patterns and the sheer variety of plants on display.

After the begonia show it was off to Mount Waverly to visit the State Dahlia Show. This was a little less raucous than the begonia show which befitted the stately elegance of these pompous florals. It was also well attended and just goes to show that plant societies and garden clubs are alive and well. Why don’t you consider joining one near you?

Begonia gehrtii from Brazil

packed at the Begonia Show

Tuberous begonias on sale.

My favourite begonia.

Dahlias in red shades.

Chris and the Australian Training Awards.

One of our apprentices, Chris Henbery, represented Victoria in Hobart last Thursday. He was a finalist in the Australian Apprentice of The Year award.

Chris flew down on the Monday and spent three days of interviews, tours and dinners. The tours included a visit to the famous Mona Art Gallery, a true Hobart must do.

The Gardenworld contingency included seven people including staff and partners. The evening was held at Princess Wharf 1, right on Hobart’s waterfront. The meals included a high proportion of Tasmanian produce which were of a particularly high standard.

Chris did not win the major award, but handled himself with absolute professionalism and maturity. We are all very proud of everything he has achieved and look forward to his continued high standard of work at Gardenworld – hopefully for many years to come. Well done Chris !

Chris Henbery a finalist for Apprentice Of The Year

Gardenworld is proud to announce that our very own apprentice Chris Henbery has made the final of The Victorian Apprentice Of The Year award. Chris has already won awards in the faculty of horticulture, but now he is up against the best of the rest.

Chris has a real passion for plants and will go out of his away to explain the key points about a particular variety. He has knowledge of a huge range of plants and now sources many of the plants for our nursery Not bad after 3 years ! We wish Chris the best and hope he is around for a few more seasons yet. You can vote for Chris in the Community Choice award here. We find out how he goes on August 28th.

The main award is given to recognise the hard work and achievements made within the vocational education and training sector. It is there to recognise outstanding achievements and contributions made through studying and in the workplace. It is open to all industries state wide, such as plumbing, electrical, carpentry, engineering, horticulture etc. All applications are assessed by a judging panel of industry experts in the first round and are scored and ranked against award criteria. The top scoring applications from all industries are selected and then assessed by a second judging panel. The top four applicants in the state are selected and are finalists for the award and attend finalist interview, which Chris was selected for. He attended a panel interview with 4 industry experts, and the winner is selected on this final part of the process. The winner is announced on 28th August at the Awards Ceremony.

The winner receives a $10,000 study fellowship and competes in the Australian Apprentice of the Year category at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart in November. As a winner, you represent the vocational training sector as an ambassador along side the Victorian Government.

 A message from Chris:

This is a career that I am extremely passionate about and love. I started a mature age apprenticeship in 2012 and have enjoyed the challenge of a new career and balancing work and study. I feel that I have been given a fantastic balance in an apprenticeship of work and school life, and the whole program has been supportive and has given me a great base for my future career. Other work and study achievements that contributed to becoming a finalist are; Bronze Medal in my student garden at MIFGS 2013, NGIV Apprentice of The Year 2013, Swinburne Outstanding Nursery Apprentice 2012, NGIV Scholarship 2012, Knox Rotary Award Finalist 2015, Swinburne Student Achiement Award 2014.

I feel privileged and honoured to be a finalist in the Victorian Apprentice of the Year, and would be proud to represent a fantastic industry in Horticulture (Nursery), one that provides great careers, but also provides something great for our customers too in products, service and the joy of growing plants.

More information:

Message from the Premier Daniel Andrews

Article about Chris from the Herald Sun website

A budding gardening celebrity is born !

By James Wall.

There she stood talking to the camera. Hands waving about like a true gardening celebrity. By goodness, it was our budding young work experience girl, who became our award winning apprentice and is now our highly respected full time horticulturist who also writes a gardening blog on the side. Introducing Bonnie Marie Hibbs.

It was with smiles on our faces that we watched an advertisement being filmed at Gardenworld last Friday. Smiles because it was our own staff member Bonnie Marie in the ad. The ad was for Grow Better, our potting mix and compost provider. The last few years have seen us sell more and more of the Grow Better products including Terracotta and Tub potting mix and Black Gold compost. Made in Ballarat, we think the Grow Better products are very good.

Look out for the ads this spring on Channel 9. They will be telecast during The Garden Gurus – Saturdays at 4.30 pm.

In 2012, Bonnie Marie was awarded the Victorian Apprentice of The Year. She currently manages the seedling department at Gardenworld and also writes a blog called The Gardener’s Notebook. A passionate gardener, we think she has a great future.

The Gardener’s Notebook

Grow Better website

Older posts «

Website by SWiM Communications