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Irish Designer triumphs at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Peter Donegan clinches the People's Choice Award with his nine-day build telling the story of an Air Force veteran revisiting a place he once called home



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22 April 2024

Designed by Peter Donegan and built by Semken Landscaping, ‘A Moment in Time,’ presented by Daisy’s Garden Supplies has been awarded the People’s Choice Award for the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show 2024.

The nine day build featured show garden is story of an Air Force veteran who returns to a place he hoped to be able to recall home and aims to show what is when there is no head stone to one who has not fallen and, though a body is not lost, there remains a mind that can never be the same as it was prior.

The garden features a fragmented path winding to an aged, grassed roof wood cabin and a Piper PA-28 Cherokee aircraft, the project that once was a wished for return to flight of a then younger man, not complete in its repair or trajectory stalled by tree growth over time, stimulated only by the turbulence of what comes with the witness of conflict.

The garden design was born during Donegan’s time designing the gardens at 13th Century

Château de Péronne (France) and the Irish World War I centenary peace garden.

The garden intends to highlight the difficulties some veterans may face when returning to their former lives or when trying to create a new path post service in the Air Force. 

Peter Donegan of Peter Donegan Garden Design, said: “The garden purpose was to shine a light upon those who have returned from conflict. Of female veterans (for eg) the suicide rate is 107% higher than the general population, and nearly 30% higher for men.

“This garden I designed, realised by The Semken Landscaping Family that won the People’s Choice Award at one of the world’s top three flower and garden shows, is a beacon to those whose minds may not be the same post service and the Defence Force Welfare Association who offer help.”

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