Phillip Townshend here – inviting you to spend a few minutes down under and enjoy some dramatic flowers and fantastic foliage.
Ever dreamed about vacationing in Australia? Well here, at least, you can take a trip through its most beautiful site (aside from the ‘roos, sand, sun, surf and Sydney Opera House, of course) – the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.
With the chocolate coma starting to fade and the Easter Break well and truly over, I thought it time to send a quick update on the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, which was held just prior to Easter from the 24th through the 28th of March. This internationally famous show, held for the past 15 years at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Garden (below), is still an explosion of color and design. It’s also the biggest annual flower garden show in the Southern Hemisphere!
Highlighting the creativity and passion of Australia’s top floral and landscape designers, the Melbourne show is the horticultural industry’s premier showcase for a stunning array of inspirational displays and environmentally friendly ideas. As always, highlights included the floral spectacular inside the Great Hall of Flowers, the Children’s Garden with its animal petting zoo and numerous show gardens created by some of Australia’s most lauded landscape designers (all of which left me wondering why I never see the design opportunities the professionals do when working in my own garden).
Particularly inspirational for me was the outdoor exhibition of garden sculptures (below) organized by the Association of Sculptors of Victoria. All sculptures are for sale and range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. I really like the huge metal sculpture of a rose. The next time someone asks me how tough Flower Carpet® roses are, I’m going to show them this picture!
Of course, we were at the show on business, too. And as always, Tesselaar was actively involved, hosting the media tent and celebrating our wildly popular new plant introduction, Fairy Magnolias (below) with cupcakes and pink bubbly.
One thing that really surprised all of us was the absolute interest in the new Fairy Magnolias. Everyone loved the versatility of the plant (suitable for specimens, hedging or espalier (see second image, below) and how floriferous it was, with a bud at every leaf axil.
In a nutshell, the main points that people liked were the flower, light fragrance, the fact that it was a flowering bush that could be used for hedging, the year-round lush green foliage and rapid growth.
And Tropicanna® Canna continues to wow garden designers, with its inclusion in many of the show’s displays.
Here I am with Tropicanna Black (its purple-black leaves soon to be topped by a coral bloom with bright-yellow edging) and Tropicanna Gold (its green, yellow and golden leaves soon to showcase a sunny, yellow-gold flower).
And below that, you can see the original TropicannCanna that started it all in a garden setting, soon to show off its bright tangerine bloom.
Anyway, should you be planning a trip to Australia any time in the future, try to visit during the Melbourne International Flower & Garden show. It is truly a spectacular celebration of the Australian lifestyle and our great outdoors, with some of the world’s leading floral and landscape designers, all in the beautiful Carlton Gardens with great food and lots of family fun!