Australian Landscape Conference 2011 – “Global Diversity and Paralells”

picture courtesy of The Australian Landscape Conference

The Australian Landscape Conference is on again this year and it looks sure to be a cracker. I attended the previous conference back in 2009 and it was honestly one of the most inspiring events I have attended. Such talented people as Thomas Woltz, Rosemary Alexander, Ed Snodgrass, Stephanie Alexander, Gardening Australia presenter Josh Byrne and many more, took us on a pictorial journey of the highlights of their work. Sustainability in the landscape had a strong undercurrent throughout most of the presentations: from the green roof revolution to the school kitchen gardens of Australia. I was particularly moved by the images Thomas Woltz displayed as he presented his work from the flight 93 memorial garden in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Coming from my permaculture background it really inspired me to believe that I can take my skills in both the agricultural sector and in ornamental design and fuse the two to build inspiring landscapes that are both beautiful and highly functional. I’ve been involved with permaculture long enough to understand that such an important cultural movement needs the attention and involvement of the wider public to carry us sustainably into the future. So, how do you get that attention? Well, you need to inspire. You need to create beautiful spaces that are functional, productive and that work in harmony with nature.

Its events like The Australian Landscape Conference that inspire us as designers and gardeners and that push us towards a better future. That, I’m sure, is why it is one of the worlds most successful landscape design conferences.

It doesn’t matter if you are a landscape professional or simply a garden enthusiasts there is something for everyone.

This year there is a raft of fresh and invigorating speakers that I’m sure will fill us with inspiration:

Andrea Cochran – a northern California based landscape architect whose designs are rich in sculpture, spatial composition and movement in the landscape. Dubbed “the master of the minimalist garden”, she has a knack for balancing sharp geometry and broad soft plantings with a minimalist palette. It is said of Andrea that she seeks to put her clients individual narratives in conversation with the land to create designs with deeply personal meanings. OO

Christina Le Mehauté – has practiced landscape architecture in Argentina for more than 30 years. Her designs are rich, vibrant and fun. Inspired by such people as Roberto Burle Marx and Martha Schwartz, she has developed a deep understanding of the need for art and individuality in a garden.

Craig Burton – is a highly accomplished Australian architect and landscape designer whose qualifications also include: horticulture, fine arts history, and environmental studies. Craig’s designs truly reflect the story of their landscapes. He has a wholistic approach to his designs taking into account the history and spirit of a place combined with its intended function and the people with whom it will be inhabited. He describes his work as “connecting the past with the present and the future”.

Fergus Garrett – is the head gardener at ‘Great Dixter’, a mid-15th century manor house in Northiam, East Sussex, England. ‘Great Dixter’ was the family home of well-known British gardener and author Christopher Lloyd. Garrett worked alongside Lloyd for 15 years before his death in 2006, with the two having forged a remarkable relationship along the way. The two paved the way for great change at the garden, which has seen a wave of inspiration sweeping through the current generation of British gardeners.

Fumiaki Takano – is a Japanese Landscape Architect who has a passion for nature and people. His projects are described as being a fusion of contemporary Japanese design and forest ecology with a strong focus on public amenity and community participation in the landscape. His gardens are popular due to their diversity and the way in which the public can interact with the beautiful spaces he provides.

Stephan Ryan – is the host of the ABC’s popular gardening program ‘Gardening Australia’. Stephan is an experienced horticulturist, author, radio broadcaster, owner and manager of his Dicksonia Rare Plants Nursery in Mount Macedon. When he is not busy with media engagements, lecturing or working in the nursery you can find him tending to his own garden ‘Tugurium’, which is comprised of a woodland garden, orchard, extensive vegetable patch and beautiful perennial borders.

Tim Richardson – is an author and landscape critic from London, England. He writes about gardens and landscapes for The Daily Telegraph, Garden Design Journal as well as House and Garden magazine among others. Tim will be talking about Landscape Urbanism and the sustainability agenda, which should stir up a bit of debate among the conference attendees.

I’m very much looking forward to being there again this year and I would strongly encourage others, especially those within the permaculture community, to come along and be inspired.

The Australian Landscape Conference will be held in Melbourne, September 9th – 13th.

To register for the conference visit


3 responses to this post.

  1. That sounds really interesting! Thanks!


  2. Just got your comment, thank you so much. It is awful and I miss them. And agree with you, foxes seem to be about in greater numbers lately.


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