Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda

Project status

September 2022: Works are underway to construct the garden.



In 2012, Wes Fleming and Phillip Johnson’s Trailfinders ‘Australian Garden’ display became the first ever Australian entry to win at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Chelsea Flower Show.

The display was toured by the Queen and Prince Harry and was unanimously voted ‘Best in Show’ by the judges.

Now, Victorians will be able to experience this stunning garden through the recreation of the garden as a permanent display at the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden in Olinda.

Project benefits


Visitors to the Dandenong Ranges Botanical Gardens will soon be able to enjoy the award-winning garden in person, where they’ll be able to connect with nature.


The Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda will be installed on an unused grassed area that used to be part of the Olinda Golf Course. It will enhance the environment at the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden by introducing rare and endangered plant species.

It is expected the new environment could attract up to four species of frog to the garden pond.


The garden will be a fantastic opportunity for locals and tourism alike to connect with Australian nature, and learn about native plants and sustainable designs.

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

Project funding

This project is being made possible thanks to the following funding:

$2.24 million from the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund

$3.83 million from the Victorian Government

$340,000 in funds raised by the People and Parks Foundation


The Project

Landscape designer Phillip Johnson will recreate this ‘Australian Garden’ display:

  • on over 7,000 square meters of a previously unused section of the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens, making the new garden 20 times the size of the original display
  • using more than 15,000 plants from  over 420 Australian plant species – including many rare and endangered species
  • to showcase sustainable design and habitat creation, using solar power and water-wise design features
  • to be accessible for people of all abilities.

3D render of the designs for the Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda   Birds-eye view render of Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda design

Artist impression of what the completed garden will look like.


Project timeline

Mid-2021 to April 2022: Plants grown and sourced off site (complete)

April 2022 – Works commenced on site to build the garden (underway)

Late 2022 – Works completed and garden open for public to enjoy 

This timeline will be updated as the project progresses.


Who are we working with?

The Australian Government

Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Phillip Johnson Landscapes

People and Parks Foundation


Access changes

There will be no access changes to the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden during construction. The garden will be built on a section of the old Olinda Golf Course that is not currently accessible to the public. Once complete, the garden will be opened as a new section of the Botanic Garden.


Related information



Will there be any impact to public access during construction of the garden?

No. A new section of the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden will be opened to the public on completion of this project. 


Who will maintain the garden once it is completed?

Phillip Johnson Lanscapes will maintain the garden for a 10-year period.


Will visitors need to pay to access the garden?

No, the Chelsea Australian Garden at Olinda will be a free public garden for everyone to enjoy.


Will the garden be accessible for people of all abilities?

The garden has been designed to be accessible for visitors with diverse needs and abilities. 


How are you making space for this large installation – what is being replaced?

The garden will be located on a section of the old Olinda Golf Course which is not currently in use. This area will be brought back to life as a garden once completed.

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