Avenue of Achievable Gardens

An installation at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 2015

Two garden designs were selected to showcase the work of Burnley Horticulture students enrolled in the Master in Urban Horticulture and the Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture programs at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

The installations are a living example of the quality of teaching in landscape design and horticulture at the University of Melbourne, providing active interactions with Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria, and with the thousands of people who visit the Flower and Garden Show.


The designs of Heather Forward, a Master of Urban Horticulture student, and Benjamin Taylor, a recent graduate of the Associate Degree in Urban Horticulture were selected for the Avenue of Achievable Gardens. Heather went on to win first prize and Benjamin third prize in the 'Affordable Garden' competition.

The aim of the avenue is to present small, stylish and functional gardens that anyone can create.

The Avenue of Achievable Gardens is sponsored by Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria (NGIV).

The Melbourne International Garden and Flower Show was at the World Heritage Listed Melbourne Exhibition Gardens, Carlton, from 25 – 29 March. 

"Rousseau's Jungle" - Heather Forward, Master of Urban Horticulture

"My main goal centres on design. But to do this well I needed to know how plants work, how to select the right plant for the right place and purpose and how to combine them. The Master of Urban Horticulture has fulfilled this need."~ Heather Forward

Heather's garden is inspired by the jungle paintings of French post-impressionist painter, Henri Rousseau.

“Plants, water, reflection, sculpture and abstracted forms are used to evoke lush jungle and exotic tigers, in a tribute to Henri Rousseau’s Jungle paintings,” she says.

"As in a painting, plants were chosen based on colour, texture, form and pattern repetition, using a selection of species that would suggest a jungle theme. A simple palette of colours derived mainly from the foliage create an interplay of bright limes against deep, dark greens, with accents of vibrant red and rust complementing the warm tones of the tiger.

“Cut screens abstract the patterns of overlapping fern or palm fronds, while the simplified tiger shape pauses at the pool’s edge before drinking. He is placed so that he stares the viewer directly in the eyes with his brooding gaze, as if they had startled him. These elements form powerful and dramatic focal points, which are offset by the softer plant forms and simple layout of the structures.

“The tiger fixes us with his eyes and his brooding stare asks the question: Is there still a place for us in today’s world?”

Find image galleries and more information about this garden and other projects at Heather's blog.