I first attended the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show over 20 years ago and still remember being blown away by that event, and I have felt the same every year I have visited since.
The scale, quality and diversity of the landscaped show gardens is amazing, there is the huge number of retailers selling an amazing array of plants, garden related products and garden art, and then there are the displays of cut flowers in the Royal Exhibition Building. What can I say about these apart from the fact they are always incredible. Having grown up working in my family’s florist shop, I have a soft spot for cut flowers and the smell of this hall gets me every time.
Over the years I have developed favourite parts of this show, Australia’s biggest garden show which attracts more than 90,000 visitors over its five days. The flowers in the hall are always a favourite and in particular I love the floral outfits created by the fashion design students.
Another favourite area is the Avenue of Achievable Gardens created by the garden design students. Here are a few images which don’t necessarily do these gardens justice.
This year I was delighted to see the dominance of plants and clever plant selection in the show gardens, rather than the dominance of hard landscaping like I have seen in previous years.
The Diggers Club always do a great display and this year was no exception. Their display of pumpkins looked amazing and as I already have a pumpkin fetish, I couldn’t resist getting a photo in amongst them.
The Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria’s hanging basket competition was as amazing as always with over 450 baskets on display.
The effort all the volunteers go to to make this happen is fantastic although few visitors would realise the extent of their efforts. Due to all the possums which love in the Carlton Gardens, the volunteers have to cover each basket in a garbage bag every night to protect it from these nocturnal marauders. That’s over 450 garbage bags on and off for 6 days!? The same occurs on all the other displays of plants which could be potential possum fodder too, so if you are there before the event opens everything is drape in netting.
This year I was there for most of the event, chatting to visitors while signing copies of my book. As a result I realised how many visitors had come from all over the country, from WA to Qld and everywhere in between. Many were first timers and had this event down on their bucket list, so they were delighted to have made it. All were blown away by it and it made me realise that over the years I have probably become a bit blase about it because I have come to expect so much.
So I decided I should promote people making the effort to add a visit to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show to their bucket list and make a plan to get there. A word of warning though – you really need two days to do it justice.
Queensland Garden Expo
And while I am on the subject of bucket list garden shows I also want to promote the Queensland Garden Expo held in Nambour in July each year – this year its the 13-15th July.
This is Australia’s second biggest garden show and while very different to MIFGS it is just as fabulous. While the big show gardens dominate the Melbourne event the main event for me at Nambour is the garden talks – there are 100 free take demos or workshops over the three days, with speakers like Costa Georgiadis, Jerry Coleby-Williams, Phil Dudman, Annette McFarlane, Claire Bickle and Noel Burdette to name a few. My only regret is because I am one of the speakers I don’t get to listen to all the other talks. There are still hundreds of exhibitors, display gardens, floral craft, garden art and much more.
Anyway check out my photos from MIFGS and please don’t judge the garden show from my photos as they simply don’t do it justice. Add both of these garden shows to your bucket list and check them out for yourself.