5000 Poppies

At the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show this year, Beutyliner and Trelleborg (our EPDM supplier) amongst many others have joined with Phillip Johnson Landscapes to create a garden in support of the 5000 Poppies project.

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since Australia’s involvement in the First World War. And in 2015, there will be a large number of activities commemorating 100 years since the Anzac Gallipoli landing.

5000 Poppies Pond

5000 Poppies Pond

The initial aim of 5000 Poppies is to “plant” a massive field of handmade poppies in Federation Square, Melbourne on Anzac Day 2015 as a stunning visual tribute to Australian servicemen and women for more than a century of service in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. The display garden at MIFGS is a taste of what will be seen later this year.

Hand Knitted Poppies

Hand Knitted Poppies

After the Anzac Day, 5000 Poppies are hoping to tour the project nationally from 2015 to 2018 with the ultimate aim being to gift the entire project to the Australian War Memorial for all Australians to enjoy.


Sense of Place

From the billabong to the native plants, this bushland-style garden is a design triumph.

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Au Naturel

This still in construction pond system by GullyScapes of South Australia forms the centrepiece of an expansive residential landscape in more than just a natural style.  Incorporating some of the latest in high tech wizardry and taking cues from mother nature, this pond system will require little ongoing maintenance or monitoring by the client.

Reflection in the lower lagoon

Using the natural contours of this sloping block, Wayne has designed and built a four stage system.  The large lower lagoon has been built to a depth ideal for planting with a variety of water species within a specially formulated multi-strata soil & sand composition, which will aid in the promotion of beneficial bacteria and the filtering of unwanted bacteria.  This pond overflows (if required) into a natural gully from where the water can be harvested and diverted to other sections of the lower garden.  A twin motor 30,000 litre per hour variable speed pump pushes water up the hill to create the waterfall.  This pump is remote controlled to allow a variable flow rate, and the ability to create a tailored ambience to suit the mood of the client.

A small upper lagoon creates the first of three waterfall sections.  The first and last of which are substantive rock constructions that the water playfully cascades over creating the sound of the quintessential “bubbling brook”.  This middle waterfall is a small step down to create two separate mid section ponds minimising the amount of “water in transit”, thereby reducing to zero any water loss to overflow if the pump system is switched off.

Three waterfalls

This system is a great example of a zero chemical/zero filtration natural pond.  Systems such as this can be built on almost any scale to fit into the space you have, and not are they only good for the environment, but zero chemical means no ongoing outlay.  Even the use of a variable speed pump can generate significant savings in ongoing electricity use.  We will definitely revisit this site once the surrounding landscape and plantings have been completed.

Art-itecture in a Reflection Pond

Recently commissioned, just in time for Christmas, here is an example of a reflection pond used in artistic architecture by Robin Williams Architecture.  With sea views out the back of the property, the reflection pond helps continue the water through the yard into the house connecting with the glass walled pool.

With the key design goals of space, natural light, and water at the forefront, this installation reflects both the sunrise through the indoor pool onto the angled ceiling and the sunset over the ocean.  When the pond lighting is completed the ripples over the water surface will be reflected onto the ceiling and through the lower room to the swimming pool – keeping the brief through all hours of day or night.

Reflection Pond at St Andrews Beach

Keep an eye out over the coming month as we get some more images to post up.

Kinglake Green Roof By Joost

Here is a great example of a sustainable home, built to withstand the harsh reality of bushfire in Victoria.

Designed by Joost Bakker and built in conjunction with Vebo Group, this Kinglake straw bale home is built around a shipping container and located to maximise the amazing view down the valley.

Living Green Roof By Joost

The entire home is kept dry by the use of a Beutyliner Green Roof Liner, protected by a layer of geofabric and then covered using Joost’s prefabricated planter crates – prepared with all the growing media & plantings ready to be simply placed onto the roof.  The system is simple yet amazingly effective.  Not only does this system keep the water out, the depth of growth media acts as a sensational insulation system, the living green roof system provides a way to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and the green roof system naturally filters any rain water prior to it finding its way to the water tank.

As seems to be the theme of recent posts, this property has an open day this Saturday (22 November, 2014) from 9am till 5pm at 2969 Healesville – Kinglake Road, Kinglake.  It really is a wonderful opportunity to see what can be achieved in sustainable building.

If you would like more information on these buildings, and see a video of the bushfire testing in action, visit byjoost.com

Award Winning Open Garden

With Spring now in the air and Christmas just around the corner, what better time to get inspired and experience the pleasure of spending time in this sprawling Clarkefield garden, which has just been awarded the LIAV best residential landscape over $200,00.

Billabong and stream

Designed and built by Phillip Johnson Landscapes, this landscape incorporates a large dam being fed by a stream filtering water through a series of billabongs.  Typical of Phillip Johnsons style & design the plantings are indigenous and require little water beyond that which falls from the sky.

Beyond the newly added landscape is a more traditional country garden.  The entire garden at 1556 Lancefield Rd, Clarkefield will be open Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 December from 10am until 4.30pm as part of Open Gardens Australia.  Entry will cost $12 for over 18’s, children are free.

You can enjoy locally produced wines and olive oils, there will be home-made produce and products, a BBQ, morning and afternoon teas, a coffee cart, plants for sale, and bronze birdbaths by Willie Wildlife Sculptures.

And to top it all off, Phillip will conduct guided tours of the garden at 11am and 2pm each day.

Warrnambool Biofilta

Using world-class technology, this biofiltration system will catch water before it runs into local waterways and provide an irrigation resource for local parks and other recreation areas.

Warrnambool Biofilta

The Biofilta System has been designed to capture and treat the stormwater runoff from this greenfield Aberline Road estate, future home to nearly 500 new residents.

the Warrnambool System will set a new benchmark of spatially efficient stormwater harvesting using natural proven processes

Brendan Condon, Managing Director – Biofilta

With support from the Round 1 Office of Living Victoria grant program, the Biofilta System will incorporate a multi phase stormwater treatment train approach to capture road and roof water from the 41 hectare development site and treat to exceed Best Practice environmental standards.

Warrnambool Biofilta Biofiltration System - Under Construction

Biofiltration is not a new technique for cleaning water, nature has been doing it since the first plant grew on this earth.  Biofilta have taken what nature does so well and modularised it.  These modules consist of pre-grown mature plants grown in triple washed sand media. Plants are grown to a robust and mature form and delivered to site fully established.  Each module has a specially designed base unit that provides both stability for growing in the nursery and provides a consistent reset level for future maintenance.

By partnering with Beutyliner, Biofilta can quickly deliver a biofiltration system to your project, with the flexibility to meet your design requirements and exceed worlds best practice.

In The News:

Biofilta Stormwater Solutions.  April, 2014
The Standard.  February 24, 2014

Avoca Chinese Rain Garden

In the Pyrenees Shire of Victoria, the small township of Avoca is about to complete the construction of a Chinese rain garden.  Designed to honour the impact that the Chinese migrants had on the area during the gold rush era, the rain garden features a Chinese inspired podium, a storm water filtering rain garden and integrated storage tank.

Avoca Rain Garden Under Construction

The design by Mel Ogden (www.melogden.com) incorporates meandering paths, a stone slab bridge over a storm water swale drain, indigenous plantings and a creative solution to filtering and storing storm water for later reuse in the upkeep of the garden.  This inspired design, when completed, will be worth taking the 2 hour drive west of Melbourne to enjoy.  And while there, enjoy all that Avoca and the Pyrenees Shire has to offer.

Section diagram of the Avoca Raingarden.

Chelsea 2013 – Best In Show

The 2013 Australian entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, was designed and built by award winning designer Phillip Johnson. Designed around his guiding principles of sustainability, the focal points of which are a billabong, gorge and series of waterfalls. This design, sponsered by Wes Fleming of Flemings Nurseries, is the first Australian entrant to win the coveted “Best in Show” award at Chelsea.

Chelsea 2013The finished design, based on Phil’s own garden in Victoria, took a total of 17 days and over 2,500 man-hours to build, transforming what once resembled a bare soccer pitch into a sustainable garden retreat.

Chelsea comes alive throughout the duration of the show, with shops around Sloane Square going to great lengths to get into the garden show spirit.

Ordered Nature – MIFGS 2013

This year we were asked to assist a new entrant, Christopher Gursansky, with his first Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) display.

The design consisted of crisp formal lines, sophisticated and elegant, contrasted with the spontaneity of the wild flower gardens.  Avenues of Silver Birch reflect their trunks into the shallow river, pebble-filled ponds.  The garden is confident and decisive.

Christopher wanted to create a space which focused on simple beauty and immersing one’s self in nature.  There are no barbecues, televisions or kitchen sinks; the garden is organic and refreshing…A natural outdoor room, where the sky is the roof and hedging creates the walls.

An outdoor room where life is the hero.