Book now for our 2024 winter webinar 24 June at 6pm

Big-hearted gardens: community and care at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show: book your ticket now

This year’s winter webinar and end-of-financial-year fundraiser for the Nina Crone writing fund features award-winning landscape designer, Emma Sheppard-Simms, herself a recipient of a Nina Crone grant for her recent article in the April 2024 issue of Australian Garden History, ‘Goodbye Ramsay St: Chasing the suburban dream in Vermont’.

Visitors to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) come to see the latest in garden design, new plants and landscaping materials, a wide array of gardening products, amazing floristry and, of course, incredible show gardens. Behind the scenes of the MIFGS there is a hive of activity, where complex landscapes are built within a week and then, after another few days, disappear forever, as if a garden fairy had simply waved her magic wand!

These temporary show gardens have the power to inform and educate the thousands of visitors who see them, and to contribute to community initiatives long after the show closes its gates.

Emma Sheppard-Simms will tell you the story of how she and her colleagues brought to life two beautiful and socially-conscious show gardens at MIFGS. ‘A Place for Us’ was funded by Open Gardens Victoria as part of their Giving Grant in 2023. It was the first garden in the history of the show to be built entirely by an all-female team of tradeswomen, designers, horticulturists and volunteers. The legacy of the garden is an extended network of female landscapers, who have kept in touch to support each other and encourage other women to enter the industry.

The second garden, ‘Oasis’, was built in 2024 for the London College of Garden Design Border Garden competition. It won first prize for its stunning combination of rare arid plants and soft perennials. The afterlife of the garden was an important consideration from the get-go: the plants and materials were donated to the Royal Children’s Hospital’s therapy gardens following the show.

This webinar, chaired by Jennifer Stackhouse, tells how the gardens were planned and built, and explains the intentions of the designers to create gardens known for their beauty, as well as their big social and environmental hearts.

Emma Sheppard-Simms

Emma Sheppard-Simms is a landscape architect who lives and works on Wadawarrung Country (Ballarat). She has worked on a wide variety of commercial and residential design projects across Australia. In 2020 she launched her residential design business, Plantery Landscape Architecture, which specialises in biodiverse and climate-resilient design in small gardens.

Book your ticket now Big Hearted Gardens: Community and Care Tickets | TryBooking Australia

Proceeds go to supporting the Nina Crone Writing Fund