Kiwi takes gold at Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show
Unitec graduate Trish Morrison has taken gold at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show with a design called Remembrance. Inspired by her late mother the garden is made up of a series of spaces which invite the visitor to sit, swing or walk in solitude, peace and harmony.
Morrison said she was overwhelmed to take top honours in the Boutique Garden Award category. “It was one of the most meaningful pieces of work I will ever do and I really enjoyed seeing people enjoy my garden.
“A few years ago, my spiritual mother asked me if I could one day create a garden for her where she could go meditate in solitude and peace.The garden I have created is a reflection of the beauty, calmness and joy my mother brought into my life and a space which she would have enjoyed.”
Her mother died early last year, followed a few months later by her grandmother.
“Losing my mother and grandmother recently has not only challenged me but has also opened my eyes to the beauty I still have around me such as nature, the air we breathe and even butterflies which have recently been following me,” Morrison told Landscape Architecture Aotearoa. “ Being in the presence of one’s self in a beautiful garden gives the opportunity to remember and embrace life in its blissful and most challenging times whilst being in a tranquil state.”
Morrison was working in Brisbane with a large commercial landscape business when she designed the garden, and had to commute to Melbourne and around the region to source plants, and meet builders and suppliers.
“Thanks to the digital world we live in I was able to coordinate most items through many emails and phone calls.”
Morrison said public favourites from the garden were the water feature, hanging seat, running bamboo and the hanging baskets with Dichondra spilling over.
“When I started my entry it was an opportunity to create something special dedicated to my mother. I got so much more out of the experience than I thought I would. I met so many talented people, my family were able to visit the show and most importantly I got to share ideas and develop lasting friendships with like-minded people.”
She also got a new job out of it, when one of the judges offered her a position at Phillip Withers Landscape Design in Melbourne. Morrison had relocated to Brisbane in 2016 after completing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Unitec in Auckland.
Always one to push herself outside her comfort zone, she often set herself challenges while studying, including exhibiting at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch. In 2013 and 2014 she was awarded bronze for her work. It was then she set her sights on the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
And her work has so impressed the judges she’s one of a select few designers to be invited back to exhibit next year for the show’s 25th anniversary. However her company is doing an entry as a team, so Morrison says she might pursue that and do her first big garden the following year. And after that? Well who knows, perhaps the Chelsea Flower Show.