Kangan Institute student takes out first place at the 2012 Flower and Garden Show
30 March 2012
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is a world renowned event that's ranked second only to the Chelsea Flower and Garden Show in England.
This year, Kangan Institute was for the first time represented by two 2011 horticulture graduates in the Achievable Gardens Walk at the show.
Michael Barette of Oak Park took out the Gold award, coming first for his design titled "Fantasy of Art".
"It's based on a real garden I designed for a client in Essendon," he said.
"I was given a blank canvas and the client told me to do whatever I wanted as she didn't want anything traditional. She was an actual artist herself and that's the direction I decided to brainstorm ideas."
There's an artist working area, working tools, extra-large paint brushes as well as a window (representing an artist's constant attraction to gazing outside for ideas).
Reflecting about his time at Kangan Institute, Michael was all smiles.
"The teachers were excellent," he said.
"I have a broader vision now when I look at a garden; I understand how it all works."
Michael's "Earth n Grass" website can be found by clicking here.
Michael Barette's "Fantasy of Art"
Anthony Curnow from Nursery Garden Industry Victoria (NGIV) congratulating Michael on his win
Michael with his teachers Kerri and Quentin
Michael and his family, with Andrew Priest, Program Leader at Horticulture
Wade Tankovich's garden "Romance that's out of this world" also drew a lot of attention.
"My garden is based on romance," he said.
"I used the ring I proposed to my wife with as well as the box that protects the ring as the concept, with rings and squares as the main design. From that concept I was able to build an imaginative garden."
The backdrop represents the place that Wade actually proposed to his wife Barb. There's also a path leading to a lover's seat with a bridge built over a river stream - which symbolises two people getting over any obstacles. The bird bath and plants are designed to add to the serenity "where any couple could feel they could sit mesmerised with the one they love for hours" Wade continued.
Wade and Barb, from Laverton, used the garden as the perfect setting to renew their vows to each other. Crowds gathered and television film crews filmed as they publically announced their love for one another.
Wade's garden "Romance that's out of this world"
Wade and Barb publicly renewing their vows
Wade and Barb
Phillip Withers, teacher at Kangan Institute, also had his garden "The Gift" on full display. This is based on a gift, as the title suggests. "The garden displays hands in a basket and the hands could be holding anything," he said.
"It's a gift from one person to another. The basket acts as a seating area and the hands become the feature. All together it's pulled together as a nice comforting and peaceful garden."
As a teacher, Phillip tells his students that it's important to give the audience somewhere to rest their eyes. "If you can rest your eyes and make things soothing (as opposed to putting in as much colour as possible) it can become quite a good style element," he said.
For all horticulture hopefuls, Phillip advises to "learn your plants, learn your design and try to take as many courses within plants and design so that your mind can put it all together.
Phillip has now also begun his own business aptly titled "Phillip Withers Landscape Design" located in Melbourne. Click here for more.
Phillip with his garden "The Gift"
To see more pictures from the event click here for our album on Facebook.
Congratulations to all of Kangan Institute's staff and students for putting on a fantastic showing. If you would like more information please call Corporate Communications on 9094 3062.
A big thank you to our fantastic sponsors: