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Five minutes with...Ross Uerbergang

/ 27 Feb 2018
Ross Uerbergang, landscape designer shares his favourite things in Melbourne and Victoria.

What is your favourite place to eat?
We live close to Footscray and that's where we often end up for dinner. It's a really vibrant place full of unpretentious, affordable dining. I particularly love an Ethiopian place called Ras Dashen. The food is good, but what really gets me, is the way the owner smiles at me when I arrive and how relaxed I feel there.

With summer now behind us, what was your favourite event to go to?
The Sustainable Living Festival was my favourite outing this summer. I felt inspired to plan out the next part of my life after hearing some of the local speakers.

The evening is rolling in, where is the best place to go for a pre-dinner stroll in the nature?
Newport Lakes in Newport is something else. It's an old bluestone quarry and tip site that was made into a lake. It's surrounded by native vegetation. You can go there and absolutely forget that your 15 minutes away from the CBD. I like to get a haloumi pie from the Lebanese bakery down the road, visit the indigenous nursery next to the lake have a look around.

What are some of Melbourne's architectural successes? 
I teach at the University of Melbourne, Burnley campus. Set within a beautiful garden there is a lovely old building that has at the top a beautiful staff room and meeting area that opens out onto a stunning green roof. It's a great blend of old and new and filled with horticultural history that you can just about feel when you walk down the main hallway. It's often open for tours so keep a look out.

My friend’s birthday is coming soon, what should I get as a gift?
Indoor Plants! These are one my favourite things. Inside our home is part jungle. We spend a lot of time making outdoor spaces, as landscape designers to draw people outside. In our show garden we are trying to cater for indoor activities in the outdoor space. But, we also need to acknowledge that high density living in the city is happening and that anything we can do to green up these spaces is really important. Indoor plants help to clean the air from all of those products in your office or house that are off gassing. They increase the humidity to healthier levels. They enhance your mood. They connect you back to nature.

Any hidden gems or hot tips in Victoria we should check out? 
I really love the northern Grampians. My family has a block of dense bush on the edge of the national park in Laharum and this is where the inspiration for our show garden has come from. There are some great walks around the area including Mount Zero and Mount Stapylton.

Ross Uebergang is a landscape designer and constructor who is passionate about sustainable landscape design. With a background in horticulture, sustainability and landscape construction Ross advocates for landscape design and architecture that recognises the essential role of plants and the potential for gardens to be beautiful, functional and sustainable. Ross operates his own design business, Ross U Design, and has won multiple international awards including 2nd place at the Japan Flower Garden Show and has worked across Australia, Japan, Nepal and India.

Ross will be exhibiting in collaboration with Yousuke Yamaguchi at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Royal Exhibition Building and Gardens, Carlton 21 to 25 March 2018.

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