Phillip Johnson

Phillip Johnson

Phillip Johnson

is passionate and committed to greening our cities and addressing water management through innovative, sustainable design… Nature has enthralled me since I was a child, and I hope my work re-engages people with the power and joy that nature brings. 

His home at Olinda in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges is a perfect example of living with nature with buildings straddling a large ‘billabong’ providing a visual foil, recreation, and wildlife habitat. Moving water brings excitement and energy and birds, fish, insects and local flora provide life and variety. Buildings are self-sufficient with power and water.

Phillip has won many awards, most notably at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show, when his Trailfinders Australian Garden was awarded a ‘Best in Show’ medal. A first for an Australian team – and for him, a dream come true!




In this day and age, we are becoming more and more detached from nature. We’ve forgotten how healing it is to be surrounded by the beauty outside our front doors. Connecting with the earth is one of the most invigorating and energizing things you can do.

For the last 20 years Phillip Johnson has focused his career on reestablishing this connection for his clients by designing, building and maintaining sustainable habitats that help to heal the earth and the soul. These habitats stimulate the senses with rich colours, contrasting textures and fragrances and the constant sound of moving water and wildlife.

Whether they are creating landscapes in the heart of suburbia or on large rural properties, Phillip and his team’s work replicates Australia’s enviable natural beauty and Mother Nature’s timeless design. The landscapes simply look as if they have stood for generations in a secluded section of the bush, untouched by humanity and bursting with life.

Phillip’s presentation will follow the evolution of his work focusing on the importance of working with nature given Australia’s extreme weather conditions. It will also look at the various design solutions that his team have created to help address these issues by mimicking natural environmental systems.

Focusing on case studies of his work, Phillip will talk about the importance of implementing Integrated Water Management, incorporating site-defined plant selection, and the use of reclaimed materials and solar power. All case studies shown in this presentation will emphasise the development of each of these design solutions and how Phillip’s vision has evolved after 20 years working as a landscape designer.

The presentation will also follow Phillip’s critical journey as a passionate advocate for biodiversity and the importance of habitat creation and greening our urban environments. Phillip will emphasize that by healing our environment, we heal ourselves at the same time.

For Phillip, nature’s beauty is the perfect reference in sustainable design and practice and each landscape he transforms, nurtures the environment and helps to heal the soul of its owners and the people that engage with it.