Client: Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne

Collaboration: Paul Thompson, Edwina Kearney, Mark Stoner, Greg Clarke and Mish Eisen

Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Cranbourne, Victoria

Completion Date: stage 1: 2005, stage 2: 2012

Construction budget: $11,000,000

Size: 25 Hectares

Photography: Ben Wrigley, Dianna Snape and Peter Hyatt


2014 -  AILA National Excellence Award for Design

2013 - World Architecture Festival (WAF) Landscape of the Year

2013 - AILA Victoria Design in Landscape Architecture Award for Excellence

2009 - International Federation of Landscape Architects (Asia Pacific Region) Design Excellence Award

2008 - AILA National Award of Design Excellence

2007 – Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) Public Domain Award, Precincts Commendation

2007 - AILA Victoria Overall Landscape Excellence Award

2007 - AILA Victoria Award for Excellence in Design

2006 – AILA National Merit Award for Design in Landscape Architecture

2006 – The Australian Tourism Awards for Best New Tourism Development

1998 - AILA National, Project Award, Master planning Category

1998 - AILA Victoria Masterplanning Project Award

1997 – AILA Victoria Overall Landscape Excellence Award

Australian Garden Stage 2 images video Map


The Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne has created a major new botanic garden on a 25-hectare site at Cranbourne on the south-eastern outskirts of Melbourne.

This garden builds on established design principles, construction practices, and community recreation patterns, while addressing contemporary environmental and cultural issues to bring a new type of garden experience to visitors.

The garden seeks to create an environment in which specific qualities of flora are highlighted in a manner that will inspire visitors to further explore Australian plants. A common theme through the garden design is the exploration and expression of the evolving relationship between the Australian people and our landscape and flora.

Water is the mediating element between these natural and human derived gardens. 

The garden highlights the tension between the natural landscape and our human impulse to steadily change it. This tension is not eliminated; rather it is the driving creative impulse for exploration, expression and interpretation of the landscape and its flora.

'The Australian Garden captures the essence of what is great landscape architecture.  Distinctly Australian landscape patterns have been referenced in a bold, graphic and sensitive way to provide a unique visitor experience.  In doing so, the project has successfully reinterpreted what an Australian landscape is'. 

Jury Citation. AILA Vic 2007 Award of Excellence

'Stage One of the Australian Garden Project in the Cranbourne Botanic Gardens had a deep impact on Botanic Gardens around the world and on our profession in Australia.

The challenge of following on from this dramatic start set the bar high for Stage Two. Taylor Cullity Lethlean and Paul Thompson are to be congratulated on the success of the Australian Garden Completion. As Landscape Architects, we will undoubtedly draw inspiration from this garden for many years to come.'

Jury Citation. AILA Vic 2013 Award for Excellence