Owner and creative director, Phillip Johnson, is a designer who is recognised as an Australian sustainable landscape pioneer in the residential and commercial sectors. He leads one of the most awarded firms in the industry, known for its natural pools, green walls and the creation of thriving habitats. His phenomenal creations centre on the use of indigenous and native plants, sustainable sourcing and construction practices, and integrated water management.
Put simply, his landscape designs create habitat, greening our cities, fostering biodiversity and creating havens for wildlife.
Trailfinders Australian Garden
The Trailfinders Australian Garden, located in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, London, won Gold and Best in Show at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show.
It was designed and created by Phillip Johnson along with his team, Flemings Nurseries and a squad of Australian volunteers.
The brief to work with was showcasing Phillip Johnson Landscapes’ philosophy, showing the beauty of Australia, helping visitors to reconnect to nature and inspiring them to think about their open landscapes and gardens.
The logistics of sourcing the right rock and getting it to site, along with finding Australian native plants on the other side of the world, proved quite the challenge. Then there was the worst winter in London for 50 years.
Despite the immense pressure of these hurdles, Phillip and his team were able to create this phenomenal landscape in just 17 days.
The central focus of the Trailfinders Australian Garden was to collect, filter and re-use rainwater, to create habitat, and to be used as inspiration, bringing people back to nature.
A beautiful, chemical-free swimming pool, including stone waterfalls, provides aesthetic, acoustic and functional benefits as well as a source of evaporative cooling for a studio structure positioned above the garden.
In times of high rainfall, the garden has been designed to utilise rainwater run-off via its abundant permeable surfaces, to filter it and to retain the water in the natural pool for future use. In times of drought, the garden uses its water stores to nourish the plant life and aid their survival when there is little or no rainfall
to sustain the landscape.
The aim was to showcase exactly what can be achieved in landscape design when you shift the emphasis to soft landscaping, paying homage to Mother Nature in terms of both form and function.