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Emmaline Bowman & Liam Riley – Pocket Profile

We are thrilled to announce that Emmaline Bowman, the owner of STEM Landscape Architecture & Design and Liam Riley, of ID Landscaping Design & Construction, will be joining us at the 2024 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show presented by Scotts within the Landscape Show Garden Competition!

The pair took us through their Show Garden Design “Through the looking glass”, aswell as what’s inspired them to work within the industry, their favourite trends and what they can’t wait to see at this years #melbflowershow!

Show Garden Profile – “Through the looking glass”


“Through the Looking Glass” extends an invitation to explore the concealed ecosystems beneath our feet. The intricately woven layers below the surface serve as the life force sustaining flourishing ecosystems. Our objective is to dissolve boundaries through the ‘looking glass windows,’ revealing the pivotal role of living organisms, soil, and water in nurturing microsystems. While most life below remains hidden, we highlight visible activities such as soil-living insects, mycorrhizal networks, and water-purifying bacteria.

Our installation, inspired by a rural Australian theme, blurs the line between visible and unseen, emphasizing the importance of subterranean activities for a healthy environment. The silent choreographer of this masterpiece is the health of the soil and water, showcased in the pond and encouraged by locally sourced materials like boulders, pebbles, logs, and aquatic plants. This design aims to exemplify a minimal impact style space, serving as both an aesthetic attraction and an essential wildlife habitat.

Render by Mark Durek

“Through the Looking Glass” extends an invitation to explore the concealed ecosystems beneath our feet. The intricately woven layers below the surface serve as the life force sustaining flourishing ecosystems.

EMMALINE BOWMAN – Show Gardener Profile

When/How did you get into the industry?

I’ve always had an interest in wildlife and the environment so after high school I moved to Melbourne to study Biosciences and Zoology at Latrobe University but with my artistic side I wanted a more creative role within the field so I ended transfering into Landscape Architecture, & finishing a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture in 2013. During my final year at high school and in University I worked at an aquarium and also had my own business maintaining fish tanks and planting ponds as I always had a fascination with water environments. After Graduating I got my first role at Green & Dale Associates, a Landscape Architecture firm specializing in zoological design. I then worked with Phillip Withers and then started STEM in 2018.

What are you most excited about at this year’s #melbflower show?

I have heard there is a bit more of a focus on
Australian native plants and naturalistic gardens. I am always excited to see what people develop within this area, I also
love seeing the different styles people come up with as well.

What is the gardening trend of the season?

I think meadow gardens, habitat gardens and Australian plants are the
trend at the moment.


Who has been the biggest influence on your design career?

My main influence in design is observing different ecosystems and what makes them work, or not work.


If you could invite any three people to a garden party who would they be?
David Attenborough, Jane Goodall & Dr Harry Cooper.

LIAM RILEY – Show Gardener Profile


When/How did you get into the industry?

I was in year 9 at school looking for pocket money so decided to post flyers in
the neighbors letterboxes to see if anyone needed lawns mowed, gutters cleaned or a general hand around the garden.
Things progressed from there eventually meeting my future business partner. My parents were also very keen gardeners
with a few acres in Warrandyte to manage.

What are you most excited about at this year’s #melbflower show?

See all the wonderful show gardens and other displays and appreciate all the hard work that goes into them and meeting the designers/builders and making new industry friends – such a good time for you!!

What is the gardening trend of the season?

Not sure I really follow trends!! This year we have a few garden and environmental messages we are pushing to improve the industry so let’s hope this becomes a trend.

Who has been the biggest influence on your design career?

The natural environment! Sounds corny but true – it’s very hard to mimic nature and make it look like it was always there so that’s the challenge.

If you could invite any three people to a garden party who would they be?

I’ve invited my family and that’s it – we have a large family… that’s enough!

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