Repurposing the garden

Construction and demolition contributes about 27 million tonnes of waste in Australia each year. Materials commonly seen in landscapes such as timber, bricks, plastic, natural aggregates and fines make up 58.9% of waste products, or just under 16 million tonnes. When considered in combination with pollution produced through importing materials and transporting waste, it’s clear that a lot can be done to minimise the environmental impact of building gardens.

SaltBush was designed and constructed to reduce waste, and features local materials and recycled products available from Australian suppliers that can provide the public with eco-conscious options for their own gardens.


Many of the beautiful bluestone rocks were sourced locally from the Bamstone quarry in Port Fairy, as well as reclaimed during earthworks for a project in Geelong. Bamstone also provided offcuts for our gabion wall, ensuring no stones go to waste.





The bricks used in paving, cladding, walls, pool coping, and steps were hand crafted by Natural Brick from demolition waste, fly ash, stone offcuts and recycled timber.


The timber wall was constructed with reclaimed telegraph poles and the steps were once part of a Melbourne wharf, both supplied by Jaks Timber.


The lovely shell grit that was scattered over toppings and through garden beds is a by-product from a local salt quarry, supplied by Southpoint Garden Suppliers. Toppings were sourced from EcoGroup Recyclers, using high-quality recycled bricks.

But now that the show is over, what will happen to SaltBush? Many of the materials have already began their third (or even fourth) life in Phil’s garden on the Bellarine Peninsula. New products such as the pizza oven and the natural pool have also found their home in his backyard.

The gabion wall, bluestone rocks and reclaimed timber will be reused in future Phillip Withers projects. The terrazzo steps and some of the bricks have been returned to Natural Brick to be repurposed once again.

Our beautiful native plants will find their new home at Phil’s house or in other gardens throughout Melbourne.

Biogro has recovered all of the turf, mulch and green waste from the show to be processed and refined into bio compost, ready to be reused by the landscaping and nursery industry.

MIFGS 2024 has concluded, but the plants and materials will continue to settle into their new landscapes and become part of enduring ecosystems, wherever that may be. We are excited to share this ongoing journey with you.