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Phil’s Bio

Phillip Johnson

I’m committed to greening our cities and addressing water management through innovative and flexible sustainable landscape design. My design philosophy centres on recreating habitat and accommodating changing environmental extremes. Nature has enthralled and inspired me since I was a child, and I hope my work re-engages people with power and joy nature brings.

Phillip Johnson is recognised as an Australian sustainable landscape pioneer in the residential and commercial sectors. He leads one of the most awarded firms in the industry, known for their multi-award winning green walls and natural pool creations – centred on the use of indigenous and native plants, water management and the re-creation of thriving habitats.

Working with leading architects, developers, government and residential clients across the country, Phillip has been ‘recreating habitat’ for more than 16 years. He is a passionate advocate for sustainability and the environment, and is focused on greening our cities through ongoing work with urban planners, commercial partners, and “one backyard at a time”.

Phillip has been collaborating with renowned botanist Patrick Blanc for the past three years, working to achieve new benchmarks in large-scale commercial green walls through the creation of innovative design, build and maintenance practices. Their most recent collaboration was for the TRIO apartment development in Sydney – the largest vertical garden in the southern hemisphere. TRIO was also awarded the landscaping industry’s highest accolade in May, 2011 – winning the Commercial Project Maintenance category at the 2011 Australian Landscape Excellence Awards.

Being named as a finalist in the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards represented a career highlight for Phillip, validating the past 19 years of sheer hard work in trying to educate consumers and the industry on native and indigenous habitat recreation, and symbolised the quantum shift in what people consider “beautiful” garden design.

Determined, and displaying his ever-present enthusiasm for nature, Phillip started his own landscape design business when he completed university. At the time, his sustainable principles, preachings on water capture and conservation, and love of Australian native and indigenous plants were not a part of the industry vernacular. When he completed his Applied Science degree in Horticulture at the University of Melbourne one of Phillip’s mentors, Dr Greg Moore, told him that his designs and philosophies were around 10 years ahead of their time.

As the issue of climate change continues to escalate, it would seem that Phillip’s most vocal advocate is Mother Nature herself. Passionate about educating people on sustainable design imperatives, Phillip lectures at various Australian universities and industry conferences. His design philosophies have global application, and Phillip maintains important relationships with international counterparts.

Vaughn’s Bio

Vaughn Greenhill
General Manager

After almost 14 years working in the virtual world, Vaughn Greenhill decided it was time to get his hands dirty once again, returning to his passion for horticulture.  After completing his horticultural studies, Vaughn started his own landscaping business in 2003.

Vaughn joined Phillip Johnson Landscapes in 2008 and is currently the General Manager.  It was Phillip’s mantra of “working with nature, and not against it” that rang true with Vaughn.

Six months after joining the team, Phil gave Vaughn a challenge, and what resulted was the largest show garden ever seen at MIFGS. Vaughn project managed and brought Phil’s dream to life to that year win Gold, and Best in Show, for HABITAT in 2009.

With that project under their belt we went on to create the largest show garden ever seen at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. In its centenary Year, the fact that the garden took out Gold, and Best in Show was even more special to the team, and Vaughn played an instrumental role in bringing the whole project to life.

In addition to his work for Phillip Johnson Landscapes, Vaughn was appointed to the board of Landscaping Victoria in 2011. He has held Executive roles of Secretary, Vice President, and President, serving a total of 6 years on the Board.

Vaughn is currently the President of IOB, Natural SPA – (Natural Swimming Pool Assoc. Australia) and is the conduit between Aus/NZ and Europe for the developing natural pools industry.

Our commitment is growing the business’ residential work on a national level, to foster biodiversity and sustainability “one backyard at a time”; as well as working with government and commercial partners to create a new approach toward public open spaces.  This philosophy centres on designing “with nature and water” to create self-sustaining, energising landscapes that don’t require mains power or water and continuing to create beautiful designs.

We have expanded our residential work throughout Australia; whilst successfully adapting our residential product to large scale commercial and government projects.  This means our commitment to working with nature to green our cities now has a much broader impact.  We are investing heavily in forever changing the pool industry in Australia, establishing the first Natural Pool peak body in this country.