Burnley horticulturists win at Melbourne Flower and Garden Show

March 16 / 178

For a second year running, Burnley’s urban horticulture students have put on a stellar performance at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS). The students’ world-class designs secured second and third place in the ‘Avenue of Achievable Gardens’ awards.

The Avenue of Achievable Gardens showcases student design skills and horticultural knowledge. It challenges designers to create small, stylish and functional gardens that suit any gardener’s skill level while including diverse, high quality plants.

Visitors are encouraged to take home ‘recipe card booklets’ with tips for recreating the mini landscapes themselves.

Fiona Webber, a Master of Urban Horticulture student, took out second place for her installation ‘Kidsense’.

“‘Kidsense’ includes woven and playful elements, as well as plants that are attractive to children – edible things and things with texture. It is all about texture, sound and colour,” Ms Webbers says.

In keeping with the theme, ‘Kidsense' was designed so visitors could replicate it at home. 

“The plants are all common plants – people will know them, they’re easy to get, and they don’t cost much, so people will hopefully look at them and think ‘I could easily do that’,” Ms Webber says.

Jaz Rhodes, graduate of the Associate Degree of Urban Horticulture, created ‘The Golden Afternoon’ and won third place in the awards.

To highlight texture, Ms Rhodes selected plants with a muted and simple colour palette. She also used natural materials to avoid the design looking overly built. 

"I think that if you really take the time to look around, you usually find that nature has provided just what you need!” she says.

Master of Urban Horticulture student Heather Forward won first place in the 2015 Avenue of Achievable Gardens, and this year was entered in the Boutique Gardens Competition.

In 'Brolga Bush Dance', she focused on using found materials, including recycled cardboard, driftwood and feathers. All her components were hand-sculpted, assembled and painted.

“The garden has evolved to be a story about life and death in the Australian outback,” Ms Forward says.

Also featured at MIFGS in 2016 was a University of Melbourne installation designed by Burnley academics, celebrating 125 years of horticulture teaching at the campus.  

The installation was the first in a series of events occurring throughout 2016 to mark this significant anniversary.

You can read more about the artists, and their works, at the University’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show website.

Story by Bridget O'Reilly.

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