World renowned garden on the way to Olinda

Thursday 14 April, 2022

A stunning Chelsea Flower Show winning garden is coming to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden.

Landscape designer Phillip Johnson has started works this week to recreate his Best in Show winning ‘Australian Garden’, which will become a permanent fixture and tourism drawcard at the Parks Victoria site in Olinda. 

The $6.4 million project is being funded by a $3.83 million investment from the Victorian Government, $2.245 million from the Federal Government and $340,000 in funds raised by the People and Parks foundation. 

The Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda will be a fantastic opportunity for locals and tourists alike to connect with Australian nature, with more than 15,000 plants from over 400 Australian plant species – including many rare and endangered species – to be planted. 

At over 7,000 square meters in size, the new Australian Garden will be 20 times the size of the original garden, which was shown to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show. 

The garden will showcase Australian native plants, sustainable design and habitat creation, including solar power and water-wise design.  

Philip Johnson will invite horticulture and landscape students to support the garden build and provide a hands-on experience for the students to research maintenance, horticulture and sustainable design.  

The construction of the garden is expected to be completed later this year. 

Philip Johnson and nurseryman Wes Fleming’s entry to the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show was the first Australian entry to ever win Best in Show at the coveted event in the United Kingdom. 

This project follows the State Government’s $7.67 million investment to transform the former Olinda Golf Course into 34 hectares of parklands, with the help from the community in the development of the Olinda Precinct Plan. 

Quotes attributable to Regional Director Melbourne, Sofia De Lesantis 

“Now more than ever our urban parks are so important for helping our communities to connect with nature and green spaces.” 

“We’re so excited to support Phillip Johnson to bring his award-winning garden home to Melbourne to share it with visitors to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens.”

Quotes attributable to Phillip Johnson, Phillip Johnson Landscapes 

“This is a garden of hope, to give joy and to immerse yourself in beauty. This landscape is going to be an overwhelming experience of the senses, taking what I originally created and making it 20 times the size.  

“It’s a public garden for all Victorians, Australians and when we are open to tourists again, the world to enjoy!”

A group of men and women standing next to a sign announcing the Chelsea Australian Garden.

Parks Victoria staff at the site where the Chelsea Australian Garden will be built. Credit: Parks Victoria


Aerial drawing of a garden with a winding path and large pond.

Aerial view of what visitors to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens will experience at the Chelsea Australian Garden. Credit: Phillip Johnson Landscapes


Landscape view of a garden with a winding path through Australian plants

Another view of what visitors to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens will experience at the Chelsea Australian Garden. Credit: Phillip Johnson Landscapes

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