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A gold winning garden inspired by Mother Nature

  • A gold winning garden inspired by Mother Nature

Trish Morrison’s winning entry in April’s Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Trish became the first New Zealander to win gold at the prestigious Melbourne show, taking out top honours in the Boutique Garden Award category. 

A graduate of the highly-esteemed Unitec Landscape Architecture school, Trish says she was overwhelmed by the win, but at the same time very proud. “It was one of the most meaningful pieces of work I will ever do and I really enjoyed seeing people enjoy my garden.

“I designed it with my mother in mind.  She was a very spiritual person, and always longed for a peaceful garden space where she could go to meditate and find peace.”

Trish came to landscape design as a way of capturing her creativity, inspired by her grandmother who enrolled her at art school at the age of four, combined with a love of nature instilled by the fields of wildflowers her parents grew on their Latvia farm.

At Unitec she first completed the New Zealand Diploma in Landscape (Design), then with her grandmother’s encouragement, added the four-year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. Trish credits her Unitec lecturers for their positive support and enthusiasm, and for encouraging her to think outside the box.

As a student she participated in two Ellerslie International Flower Shows, which had by that time relocated to its Christchurch base. She won Bronze medals in both her entries, and learnt a lot from the experience, including the pleasure of watching people enjoy her work. She says exhibiting is addictive and a great way to raise awareness and get feedback from viewers.

Remembrance took several days to put together at the show and a huge amount of work during the months prior.  From her base in Brisbane, Trish had to commute to Melbourne and around the region to visit growers, juggling her day job with a large commercial landscape business. On top of that, she had the added challenge of securing sponsorship and the nerve-wracking initial competition round which saw five finalists selected for exhibition at the show.

Remembrance is made up of a series of spaces that provide solitude, peace and harmony, and features wild flowers including Achillea 'Proa', Tiarella wherryi and Agastache 'Tango'.

The unstructured planting, flowing draping and water feature contrasts with the formality of solid white pavers, wooden pergola and decking. With the loss of her mother early last year, followed a few months later by her grandmother, Trish says she was forced to open her eyes to the beauty she still had around her in nature. “The garden is a reflection of the beauty, calmness and joy my mother brought into my life, and is a space she would have enjoyed that I hope others will enjoy too”.

Despite the hard work involved in getting her entry together, Trish is already looking ahead to next year’s show. It’ll be the 25th anniversary of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show and Trish is one of a select few designers to be invited to exhibit. She’s very excited to be amongst the best of the best from years past, giving her an opportunity to network with the “big fish”.

Melbourne has helped Trish define her future steps; which could include a possible new focus on residential design, which Trish says will give her more opportunity for creativity and interaction with clients; a dream of hers. She also has her sights on every garden designer’s dream -- the Chelsea Flower Show.  

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