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Andrew Laidlaw

Andrew Laidlaw is a qualified landscape architect and garden designer with more than forty years of experience in the field. He is known for his deep knowledge of plants, design and his innovative approach to design.

Andrew gained a notable reputation for his role as landscape architect at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. During his tenure, he devised and developed numerous projects, including the Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden, the Volcano Guilfoyle and the restoration of Fern Gully, which includes three unique meditation gardens. In 2020, he completed the Master Plan that defines a vision for the Royal Botanic Gardens for the next 20 years. This plan includes enhancing the value of Aboriginal heritage, landscape management and the impacts of climate change, as well as the growing importance of green spaces in an expanding urban center. This new Master Plan will lead Melbourne Gardens over the coming decades, identifying and preserving what is significant, responding to new challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise.

In the same year, Andrew designed and built the new Arid Garden, which won the Landscape of the Year award in the state of Victoria. He also devised a new sensory garden specifically for people with dementia and led the White Oak project, the reconstruction of a giant oak that had fallen due to climate change. His projects of the last twenty years have received three gold medals at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, the Landscape of the Year award in 2004 by the Landscape Industries Association of Victoria and the Victoria Tourism Award 2005 as best tourism relaunch project.

Andrew is one of the founding directors of Global Gardens of Peace, an organization committed to building gardens for vulnerable communities around the world. He is working on a Children’s Garden for the Gaza Strip, the development of which has been interrupted by the current war but will be implemented as soon as it is possible to guarantee safe access. For the past three years, under his leadership, the Global Gardens of Peace have designed, funded and built three gardens in Melbourne, including two gardens within the psychiatric ward of Alfred Hospital, offering patients contact with nature through green spaces built by the organization.

 

Andrew taught Landscape Design at Melbourne University’s Burnley campus for over thirty-five years, training numerous Australian gardeners and designers. He has been a regular guest on garden radio shows and is a regular speaker at various congresses in Australia and New Zealand.

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