Urban Temple


The 'Temple' was a hugely successful award winning design at MIFGS 2015 viewed by tens of thousands of people. It was a showcase of ideas and art for public spaces, private landscapes, courtyards, atria, hotels, retreats, medical clinics & day spas.

It was a first time build at the Melbourne International Flower Show and it was extremely well received by both world class industry leaders and the general public.

Cheswick Consultants developed the idea as a place in which someone can feel at home and comfortable with themselves. In an age where stress is the number one mental health issue for Australians and one of every 3 to 4 people suffers from either anxiety or depression within their lifetimes it is important to find an antidote to the chaos.

The success of the project depends on the perceived benefits gained in terms of personal wellbeing.

“You’ve nailed it. This is right up there with the best of them”

— Philip Johnson Landscapes (Chelsea Winner 2013)


The Story of the project

Cheswick Consultants in association with Landscaping Victoria have combined knowledge and skills to create 'The Urban Temple', a contemporary boutique show garden for exhibition at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2015. 

The Design

Sometimes it is difficult to visualise and conceptualise how a landscape will look from 2D plans so we have prepared this 3D presentation to portray the emotional as well as the visual elements of the garden. 

Based on the simplicity of the Japanese ‘dry’ garden, incorporating elements of Chinese and Indonesian styles, we’ve designed this landscape to be pleasing to the senses and soothing to the mind. There are a number of versions of the temple concept and this particular one stood out as most suited to creation as a 'show' garden.

Mirroring the Asian philosophical principle of ‘unity in diversity’, and ‘the balancing of opposites’, The Urban Temple is a blend of dynamic contrasts: inside/outside, small tree/large tree, high platform/lower planting, shadow/light, warmth/coolness, enclosure/openness, stillness/movement. 

In Australia we have become conditioned to European garden styles in which we sit in the garden and observe the features of the garden. The experiencer is separate from the experience. However, Asian landscape design acknowledges that man and nature are not separate. We are nature. To be at ease within it and to lose yourself amidst the tranquility of the natural surrounds is the goal. 

Rocks and water draw your attention to earth, whilst the bamboo lifts your vision to the heavens. ‘China red’ inner walls provide warmth, contrasted and complimented by the coolness of the plants and pond. The scented plants and blossoms fill the senses on warm spring/summer days sitting quietly on the bamboo deck. 

A series of bamboo skins envelope the main recessed area creating a walled, protected space. Rock formations mimic mountain ranges, while water replicates rivers and lakes.

Many of the plants we have used have their origins in Asia. We have reworked them into a modern contemporary formal planting arrangement. These plants are commonly used shrubs and trees like Azalea, Buxus, Ajuga, Malus, Acer, and Tracehelospernum ensuring easy maintenance and management. 


A big challenge for show participants at MIFGS is the logistics of organising for all materials to arrive and to get them to arrive on time, to ensure that the exhibition site does not become congested with materials and plants. With another 40 other installations taking place around the area it can become quite a nightmare.


Most importantly we would like to say a huge thankyou ! 

Your contribution of time and assistance will help us immensely. 

We’d love to meet and thank you personally at MIFGS 2015, to show you around the project that you have helped build, to hear your thoughts about what we might improve upon in the future and to answer questions.

See you there !

About MIFGS 2015

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is the pinnacle of competitive landscape design in Melbourne.

After an outstanding first year of the competition, Landscaping Victoria are once again proud to present the Boutique Gardens Competition at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in 2015.

Many winners at MIFGS have gone on to win at the Chelsea Flower Show in London.