Catherine StewartAussies at Chelsea – GOLD & BEST IN SHOW

Australian garden Chelsea Flower Show 2013

Phillip Johnson and Wes Fleming do it! The Aussie team at Chelsea has won GOLD and BEST IN SHOW. Despite the local London press fawning over Prince Harry’s garden, or the even more boring UK Telegraph and Laurent Perrier gardens, Phillip’s spectacular Australian garden stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Beautiful detailing runs through the garden

Beautiful detailing runs through the garden

Literally – with its exciting recycled cor-ten steel viewing pod and waterfall but also metaphorically. Chelsea’s big display gardens get more ‘Chelsea’ each year – read unadventurous, same-same planting schemes – sometimes it’s hard to notice where one garden starts and the others stop. Blond wood, conversation pits (didn’t Jim Fogarty do that years ago?)…..but I digress……because Phillip and Wes are most deservedly the stars of the show. Phillip for his vision about what a garden can be – sustainable, beautiful and inspiring, and Wes Fleming for his persistence in bringing an Australian designed garden to Chelsea.

Phillip Johnson's spectacular waterfall

Phillip Johnson’s spectacular waterfall

The Aussie team were out in force at yesterday’s press day and the whole team have earned this award. They’re all volunteers who leave their businesses and families behind for weeks to do this and the standard of the garden build shows that devotion.

Full marks also to Trailfinders in the UK and the many Australian businesses who have donated to this team effort.

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Catherine Stewart

About Catherine Stewart

Award-winning garden journalist, blogger and photographer; writer for garden magazines and co-author of 'Waterwise Gardening'; landscape designer turned landscape design judge and critic; compulsive networker and lover of generally putting fingers in lots of pies. Particularly mud pies. Original creator of GardenDrum. South Coast NSW.

5 thoughts on “Aussies at Chelsea – GOLD & BEST IN SHOW

  1. Pingback: Chelsea winners | Sandra's Garden

  2. Yeah good o and Oi! Oi! Oi!….. but sustainable?
    When 300 tonne of rock gets hauled from Scotland for the event, I no longer know what that word means…. not that I ever really did when it gets plastered over everything willy nilly to give us a little moral fizz.
    …but go Team Oz!

    • Yeah – I do see your point Eugene however I prefer to look at this garden as symbolic of what you can do with your own local materials and resources. We often choose to live in places that start with no garden at all, or with sites that make it hard to create something we want to be in but can maintain without further inputs of water etc. Phillip Johnson’s gardens may require some ‘start-up capital’ but are then self sustaining ecosystems for years to come.

      • With respect Catherine – I just don’t buy it. For one, gardens are like kitchens. I heard this from a real estate agent. Even though they are perfectly serviceable, they are the first things to get chucked out when the new owners move in. Every garden designer likes to think that their work will stand the test of time and the vagaries of fashion, but the reality is very different.

        It is a misnomer to say that it will become a self sustaining eco system. This is one of those seventies conceits that has been demolished by current thinking, yet it has entered the common lexicon. It pervades and colours our thinking and actions, but has no basis in fact. I could bang on about this, but it would wind up being an eye glazing, mind numbing diatribe. An excellent book to read further on this would be “The Rambunctious Garden” by Emma Marris.

  3. Well, from what I’ve seen, I think the Aussie garden at Chelsea was absobloomin’lutely gorgeous, and credit to the team for finding suitable rock for a temporary garden displaying visions of attainable sustainability.

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