Phillip Johnson Bio - PHILLIP JOHNSON by chenboying


                                         PHILLI P JO HNSO N
                                                           - DIRECTOR -

                               “Nature has enthralled, inspired and energised me, my whole life.
                               Our clients tell me stories about their children and grandchildren excitedly
                               exploring our landscapes – from jumping along the granite stepping stones
                               across the billabongs, to veggie growing competitions – we’re working
                               to inspire change and a renewed appreciation and respect for all the joy
                               nature brings.”
                               As a young child, Phillip Johnson was given his first landscape design project – a
                               3x3 metre plot in his parent’s Glen Waverley garden in Victoria, which he rebuilt and
                               redesigned many times. He also credits his grandparent’s love of gardening and plants
                               as early inspiration, recalling magical fairy finding missions in their fernery, where Gran
                               would leave a trail of lollies to encourage exploration, curiosity and creativity.
Perhaps this is why Phillip finds nature so utterly inspiring and wonderful. He is undeniably one of Australia’s most
passionate and irrepressible landscape designers. Phillip Johnson Sustainable Landscape Systems (formerly
Greenmark Landscapes Pty Ltd), began creating native and indigenous wonderlands for clients in Victoria fifteen years
ago, and momentum has been building exponentially over the past four years. Phillip is educating the country, and
the globe, on the benefits of native and indigenous landscape design and innovative water conservation and capture
It hasn’t always been easy, however. Changing people’s imported and traditional tastes in garden design, and
educating them on the benefits of both sustainable and native and indigenous practices has been a long and hard
labour of love.
“Working with nature, and not against it”, remains Phillip’s mantra. It seems nature is also working with him – the
timeliness of his sustainable and indigenous design imperatives have never been more relevant and necessary as our
planet succumbs to the effects of climate change. Phillip says he may be the “boss” at his company, but he too has a
higher report – Mother Nature herself.
After completing his schooling, Phillip went on to study a Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Horticulture, at the
University of Melbourne’s Burnley campus. He soon became noticed by lecturers and peers alike, and upon completing
his degree, was awarded the prestigious John Inglus Lothian Memorial prize for outstanding achievement during the
four-year course.
His studies and passion for nature have taken him all over the world. After completing his degree in Melbourne, he
went to the renowned Environmental Education Centre at Frost Valley YMCA in Upstate New York for 12 months, where
he was a lecturer. It was here that he realised what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, the epiphany coming to
him whilst he was sitting at the base of a waterfall, in one of the most wondrous settings. He returned to Australia and
established Greenmark Landscapes Pty Ltd. Waterfalls have a special place in Phillip’s heart, and this is just one of the
reasons they feature so significantly in each of his designs.
His years of study and field trips across the globe culminate in his teachings, and in one of his best-known lines -
“Nature never goes out of fashion.” Couple this philosophy with the sustainable practices he integrates into each
landscape (including innovative water capture and conservation systems, solar power, permaculture, aquaculture and
the use of local and recycled materials) and the work lasts more than a lifetime – it lasts forever. It’s about creating
stunning landscapes that feed the soul as well as nature itself.
His trademark is the unique Australian billabong. An excursion to Phillip’s personal garden in Olinda, Victoria, reveals
two breathtaking examples of these centrepieces. Phillip sits at the edge of the lower billabong and fishes for silver
perch, a stone’s throw away from his back door. The upper billabong is a spectacular natural swimming pool, where the
filtration system comprises natural aquatic plants. His whole residence is also completely fire-proofed by a system fed
from the billabongs.
Phillip is driven by an overwhelming passion to give back to nature, and to assist in rebuilding her work. His design
model is universal and adapts to every country in the world - working with local materials and plant varieties to create
ever lasting landscaped habitats.

                                             S U S TA I N A B L E L A N D S C A P E S Y S T E M S                 PAGE 1
Phillip’s contagious passion and expert knowledge were also responsible for Patrick Blanc’s decision to align with Phillip
Johnson Sustainable Landscape Systems – the company works with Patrick on consultation, building and maintaining
each of his incredible vertical garden creations in Australia.
After 15 years of hard work, Phillip’s experience, passion and relentless drive are now gaining serious traction. With
national and international interest swelling, and more than 300 landscape designs flourishing throughout Victoria - just
like his habitat creations - Phillip Johnson is guaranteed to be a permanent fixture in the Australian landscape design.

Landscape National Awards                                     Landscape Industries Association Victoria Awards
2007 - Save Water Award Winner for the Garden Manage-         2006 - LIAV Award over $100,000 Residential Highly
ment Category (Olinda)                                        Commended (North Wandin)
2007 - Save Water Award Nomination for the Built Envi-        2006 - LIAV Award Winner Water Wise Category (North
ronment Category (Olinda)                                     Wandin)
2006 - Australian Landscapes Industry Association –           Garden Shows
Landscape of the Year -Runner up (North Wandin land-
                                                              2006 – Gardening Australia Expo – Gold Medal
                                                              2006 – Royal Melbourne Show
Landscape Industries Association Victoria Awards
2008 - LIAV Award Winner of Sustainable Garden Cat-
egory (Kilsyth landscape)                                     2008 - Keynote speaker – 4th International Landscape
                                                              Conference, Marriott Hotel, Santiago Chile
2007 - LIAV Award Winner of Water Wise Category
(Olinda)                                                      2008 – Speaker Sustainability Expo Melbourne
2007 - LIAV Award Winner over $100,000 Residential            Continuous lectures with Universities, Tafe College’s and
(Olinda)                                                      Primary and Secondary Students
2007 - LIAV Award Soft Landscape Highly Commended
(Kew landscape)
2006 - LIAV Award Winner of the Landscape of the Year
Category (North Wandin)

For further information and interviews with Phillip Johnson, please contact Sarah Sproule,
Gun Communications, 0418 737 500

  YARRA GLEN PROPERTY                       KEW RESIDENCE                             MOOROOLOBARK RESIDENCE

  ARMADALE RESIDENCE                        KEW RESIDENCE                             OLINDA PROPERTY

                                                                                                  Yarra Glen Property
                                                                                                               PAGE 2

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