Phillip Johnson and Wes Fleming win ‘Best in Show’ at Chelsea Flower Show

Wes Fleming and Phillip Johnson with the Best in Show Trophy

Wes Fleming and Phillip Johnson with the Best in Show Trophy

The Queen in the award winning garden.

The Queen in the award winning garden.

The team hears the news

The team hears the news

They did it! For the first time in 100 years Australians have won best in show at the Chelsea Flower Show. I am so thrilled that Wes Fleming and his team have finally achieved the “Impossible Dream” and done so well. And I love the garden with which they won it. Phillip Johnson’s designs have been inspiring me for years, exuberant and original and even from a distance it was clear that these values shone through to the judges.

I have been lucky to have been kept up to date with emails on a mailing list from Wes’s mum, Dawn and she beautifully described their reaction to the win. Read more

Fruit art

Article and photo by Gail Thomas, reproduced with permission from Good Fruit and Vegetable Magazine May 2013

Beautiful carved fruit for children

Leonie Mills with her fruit art, carved for children




Along with mentoring secondary students looking at a future in hospitality, chef and owner of Jack & Jill restaurant in Geelong Vic. Leonie Mills was eager to inspire and educate even younger palates to the delights of fresh fruit and vegetables. “I wanted something that was fun for primary groups so I’ve developed a program ‘Leonie’s Fruit Art for Kids’,” enthuses Leonie who generously gives of her time taking the program into local schools. With local fruiterer Harvey’s of Highton supplying the ingredients, Leonie’s buffet of imaginatively carved produce including watermelon sharks, fruit salad trains, rabbits, ducks and floral arrangements immediately grabs the youngsters’ attention and in no time they are excited to try the array of new taste sensations.

Phillip Johnson and Wes Fleming at Chelsea Flower Show

By Penny Woodward

With great excitement I’ve been following the construction of the Phillip Johnson garden at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show. Once again (and apparently for the last time) Wes Fleming  and Flemings Nursery is sponsoring and building a show garden at Chelsea. It is wonderful looking at some of the slide shows and video clips and seeing the passion and dedication of the whole crew, but of Wes Fleming and Phillip Johnson in particular.

Philip Johnson's plan for the Chelsea Flower show (from Fleming's website)

Phillip Johnson of Phillip Johnson Landscapes, has designed a garden that is a showcase of Australia’s natural beauty. It is crafted to demonstrate the seamless transition between house and garden, and  aims to challenge conventional garden design while incorporating best environmental practice in urban surrounds. Key features of the garden include a substantial billabong fed by a series of waterfalls, cascading over a huge stone gorge, which forms a breathtaking foundation for an architecturally designed studio.

Read more

Sweet peas and Chelsea Centenary

I’ve never been any good at growing sweet peas, so I asked my friend to write about them for me.
Article by Anne-Marie Strickland and photos kindly supplied by Dr Keith Hammett

Pale mauve sweet pea flower

Keith Hammett's Chelsea Centenary sweet pea

RELAX. You don’t have to do what the Vatican says, therefore St Patrick can safely be ignored on the matter of when to plant your sweet peas. And 2013 is definitely the year of the sweet pea, according to NZ breeder Dr Keith Hammett, who recently visited Melbourne.
Never mind that 17 March has come and gone. It’s a brave new world for lovers of the sweet pea’s inimitable scent, beauty and profusion. And much of that is due to a century-old misunderstanding that had we Aussies rushing to plant our sweet peas by Saint Patrick’s Day. You can sow them in Spring for a Summer display, and according to Diggers’ field trials they will stand up to our hot summers. Tim Sansom, the company’s CEO (Horticulture) says that with good planning, you can have sweet peas flowering for nine months of the year. To achieve this, you’ll need to sow short-day varieties in  March, May, September and December; and sow long-day varieties in March, September and November. Read more

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