A Relaxing Native Influence at MIFGS 2017 – Ben Newell

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Ben Newell’s love of native plants led him to design a relaxing Boutique garden for the 2017 Native Influence category at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. Over to you Ben…..

I am 22 and have been studying and working in the Landscape Design Field in Melbourne over the past 4 years

I grew up on a 6000-acre wheat farm near a small country town four hours from Melbourne called Swan Hill. After finishing my VCE in 2012, I was quite unsure about what field I wanted to go into and was weighing up whether to begin a Bachelor of Agriculture. After much consideration however, my friends and family encouraged me to follow a career in Landscape Gardening and design, due to my keen interest in working in my parents garden and the desire to be creative with the space.

I finished my studies in December last year at Melbourne University, completing an associate Degree in Urban Horticulture. Soon after returning from working at a Garden Show in Japan last October, I was made aware that my entry into the Boutique Gardens Section at the 2017 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show had been selected.

My entry into MIFGS this year was my second Garden Display to be built at the show since moving to Melbourne in 2013. I had an entry in the 2015 show called “The Crossroads”, whilst I was completing a Diploma of Landscape Design and Horticulture at Swinburne University.

Ben Newell Gumtree MIFGS 2017 1

This year, my entry in the 2017 MIFGS Boutique Garden category “A Native Influence”, was a garden that included a large amount of native Australian plants surrounding a small bar, positioned over a plunge pool. It was important to me that the garden was to appear as a natural and relaxing place that people would be able enjoy being in, whilst at the same time being aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Successful Australian Landscape Designers, such as Ross Uebergang of Ross U Design, Phillip Johnson of Phillip Johnson Landscapes and Brent Reid from Candeo Design have been very influential in my career so far through their mentoring and during the time spent working with them at previous garden shows. All of the Designers that I have worked with over the previous 4 years have all been very inspiring in the way that they all use plants in their landscape very effectively and never just rely on a large amount of hard construction in the designs. I look forward to continuing working with them closely in the future.

Paal Grant from Paal Grant Design is another designer that has had an influence with my work so far and I was lucky enough to work on a garden display at the Japan Garden Show last September where Paal won a Silver Gilt Medal as well as the People’s Choice award. I look forward to continuing my work with them all into the future.

I have just begun undertaking my own design work with my company Ben Newell Design in Melbourne and surrounding areas and look forward to being a part of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show again in the future.

Ben Newell

Ben Newell Design [email protected]

Ben Newell Jun 2017