Pandemic Garden Projects - winner announced!

4 December 2020
Pandemic Garden Projects - winner announced!

Impressive garden projects - each is unique to the creator’s expectations, space constraints, skill level, climate conditions. However there can only be one winner!

Heidi Martin, owner of Van Loons Nursery is our judge for this month's competition 'Best examples of pandemic garden projects created by Victorian gardeners', donating a $100 voucher as the winning prize. We're very grateful to Heidi, a horticulturalist and plant expert of many years. Van Loons Nursery is a multi-award winning garden centre on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula. You can find out more about Heidi and Van Loons Nursery on Instagram at @vanloonsnursery and on their facebook page.

Read on to see who Heidi chose as special mention entries and our winner.

A very big congratulations to everyone who participated in the Open Garden Victoria Pandemic Gardens Competition. There is nothing like adversity to ignite some creativity and we certainly saw lots of that in this month’s entries! There was a big focus on edible gardens, it seems the need to be self-sustaining on some level is strong, also lots of recycling, growing plants from cuttings, and something I just loved… families coming together to enjoy the building, planting and rewards that gardening gives.

With all the extra time at home we saw some quite large scale projects, whole garden renovations... lawns and concrete were ripped up, fairy gardens were created, water tanks were disguised, and old pallets were given stylish makeovers. The amount of work involved in developing a garden project is considerable, and I’m sure there were quite a few sore shoulders and stiff muscles! But the satisfaction of creating something useful, beautiful and uniquely your own is quite an achievement.

It’s hard to pick favourites as every garden is unique to the creator’s expectations, space constraints, skill level, climate conditions and, well really just what we like… but these next ones really impressed me.

The Lorrimer family battled soil contamination in their inner city garden by raising the garden beds. An overgrown and neglected yard is now a healthy haven for their young children. It has also been a source of relaxation from the stresses of home schooling for mum and dad!



Justine Knight turned a neglected patch of lawn in her front garden into a gorgeous formal flower and vegetable garden. The fabulous outcome is due to meticulous planning and careful design. I suspect the neighbours enjoy the result as much as Justine!



Anneke Roberts lives in central Victoria and needs to battle extreme weather conditions, frosty in winter and scorching in summer. A break from looking after grandchildren this winter enabled her, with some help to renovate this lovely embankment. Hardy plant choices do all the work and she lets nature help out with some self-seeding.



Amanda and her 9 year old daughter created this cute little fairy garden. After a formal invitation to all the neighbourhood fairies to move in, it now sits happily at the front door!



Jian Liu enlisted the help of the whole family to convert a concrete driveway into a fabulous edible garden space complete with green house and water tank. There is a real focus on sustainability in this garden, by encouraging beneficial insects, companion planting and attracting birds it is gardening in a very wholistic way – love it!



However there can only be one winner and I am pleased to announce Nicole and Gary Rykers and her amazing vegetable garden as the Pandemic Garden Project winner!

Gardening on a slope is never easy, especially if you want to incorporate a functional veggie garden – and a fire pit! This garden involved 48 bags of concrete in the foundations and 237 bags of rocks carried up the hill – wowzers! The result is a practical and functional garden on a challenging site, that is beautifully designed. Well done!




Van Loons Nursery

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