The State Minister for Water, Peter Walsh together with the Office of Living Victoria, welcomed the team back to Australia and congratulated them on placing sustainable design and integrated water cycle management techniques on the world stage.
Led by director of Fleming’s Nurseries, Wes Fleming and designed by sustainable landscape designer, Phillip Johnson of Phillip Johnson Landscapes, this year’s ninth and final Trailfinders Australian Garden showcased the possibilities of sustainable water management in residential landscape design.
Highlighting Australia and Victoria as world leaders in this style of sustainable design, the Hon. Peter Walsh expressed The Government’s delight at the success of the Australian Garden which has put water-wise initiatives on the agenda across the nation and captured global attention.
Independent of mains water, the ‘Trailfinders Australian Garden’ design instead harnessed, filtered and re-used storm water run-off via a series of permeable surfaces as well as a rain water tank and natural billabong, acting as a source of nourishment for the surrounding flora and fauna in times of drought and a water store in times of flooding or high water.
Designer, Phillip Johnson said he was thrilled to be honoured at the civic reception and hoped the spotlight on sustainable landscaping would encourage others to implement water saving strategies in their gardens at home.
“Being involved in Chelsea was a dream come true for myself and my team. Winning an award amongst contemporaries of this calibre is an amazing experience. We couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved,” Johnson said.
“We went to Chelsea with a very ambitious vision – to showcase Australia, our horticultural industry and to educate the world on the possibilities of sustainable landscape design. This presented challenges from the other side of the world, but we knew we only had one chance to make the impact necessary to educate, and that’s what we have done.”
Founding member of the Trailfinders Australian Garden campaigns, Wes Fleming said he had been overwhelmed by the response from the Australian public since returning home from London last week.
“This was the first time in the Chelsea Flower Show’s one hundred year history that an Australian team had taken out the Best in Show honour, and the first time the judges had been unanimous in their decision.
“Better yet is that the design has garnered interest across the globe – from Ukraine to Italy – there are editors putting stories together as we speak detailing the intricacies of Phillip’s water cycle management processes and how this is sustainable gardening at its very best.
“This, coupled with the kind words and well wishes we have received since returning back to Melbourne, indicates to me that as a society we are ready to embrace a more sustainable approach to horticulture and water management not just in our gardens at home but in our urban spaces and new communities too.
“The support of the Australian public and the Victorian Government has been overwhelming - we could not be more humbled to have been honoured by a civic reception at Parliament House,” he said.
For more information about the Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s, or to keep up to date with the latest news, head to: www.flemings.com.au/chelsea2013