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International Designers Come to Melbourne

Design for the future: Models from the old world; challenges for the new! The 10th Australian Landscape Conference is being held in Melbourne on 20-24 September featuring an outstanding range of international and Australian stars – brilliant...

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Design for the future: Models from the old world; challenges for the new!

The 10th Australian Landscape Conference is being held in Melbourne on 20-24 September featuring an outstanding range of international and Australian stars – brilliant landscape designers and commentators!

The conference, normally held every second year, attracts leading speakers from around the world and explores the future of landscape and garden design from a wide range of perspectives.

Cutting edge designer Ken Smith from New York believes passionately that our cities urgently need spaces for ‘art, architecture, and contemporary culture as part of the landscape’. We look forward to his ‘astonishing array of projects… including art installations, glowing topiary, plastic flowers, serene urban parks, roof gardens, etc

In another major coup, the Conference features Louisa Jones – world expert on Mediterranean gardens and landscapes. Warwick Forge, Director of the Conference, says that Louisa ‘discovered the gardens of Provence and made them famous’.  Louisa Jones has written, Mediterranean gardening is … a way of living in harmony with the earth without contrived effects or heavy spending… it is frugal and fruitful, serves many purposes and gives many pleasures, … Today, it adapts easily to our growing ecological awareness, to individual creativity and community sharing. Above all, it perpetuates a longstanding partnership between human beings and their environment, tested… in Mediterranean countries for millennia.

Warwick Forge commented, ‘With their long summers, which are drier than ours, what better approach can there be for motivating and guiding Australians who are so eager to learn? 

Leading South American designer Juan Grimm is returning to Melbourne following his brilliant debut in 2005. He says his work is a constant search for perfection which I have only found in Nature. ..and, that gardens are about exposing people to the natural beauties of our planet..

His superbly balanced gardens always harmonise superbly with the landscape and for this, they have been described as amongst the most beautiful and inspiring in the world. The passionate Latin is much loved by all his clients.

Raymond Jungles, one of the most highly awarded landscape architects in North America loves to work with tropical plants and to create plant communities based on ecology with water systems, insects, birds and wildlife. Jungles previously worked with brilliant Brazilian designer Roberto Burle Marx who he says, is the greatest source of inspiration in my life.

From India, Aniket Bhagwat’s firm has pioneered landscape architecture and it’s impressive range of multidisciplinary projects range from single domestic gardens to major housing developments. He has recently initiated a nation-wide survey of gardens in India, for 1.2 billion people. 

What garden style is appropriate for Australia? Should we continue to work with models from the Old World, or pursue challenges from the New? Professor Toshio Watanabe from Japan has studied ‘transnational culturalism’ for some years and he will address the topic particularly in the context of the modern Japanese garden.

There are eleven presentations from international speakers and from Australia, for the first time we have Paul Bangay with a particular focus on his own personal garden, the beautiful Stonefields. Simon Griffiths, the brilliant garden photographer will assist him and Anne Latreille will outline key Australian designers from her new book Garden Voices – a superbly written study of outstanding designers in Australia who have left their creative mark on the national landscape and consciousness.


This year the conference will include workshops enabling personal interaction for informal groups. The cost is only $65.00 per 90 minute session and attendees need not be registered as conference delegates.

The Workshop Program includes some fascinating topics – e.g. Ken Smith on installation type gardens, Toshio Watanabe on the exportation of Japanese Gardens, Simon Griffiths on landscape photography, Andrew Laidlaw on designing play spaces for children, plus workshops on horticultural therapy, edible landscapes, espaliering, green roofs, vertical gardens, plant composition, etc.

The workshops are proving very popular!

Other Events

The conference will also feature another of its very popular gardens tour on Friday 20th September to the Mornington Peninsula - to see some wonderful gardens including private gardens of Fiona Brockhoff, Rick Eckersley, roof gardens at Burnley College and Stage II of the fantastic Cranbourne R.B.G. The tour is always booked out so people need to apply promptly. It is restricted to conference delegates as is the marvellous Speakers’ Dinner at the Savage Club. The Conference, which enjoys a strong international reputation, is open to anyone with a love of gardens and design and cuts across all disciplines.

For more information on the Conference and its speakers please click here.

Speciality Trees is a third-time sponsor of this wonderful Conference. We hope to see you there!


14/06/2013 Events


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