Phillip Townshend here, writing from the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
Once again, I’m reminded of why we live in Melbourne, Australia (voted one of the world’s most liveable cities on multiple occasions). It’s autumn here, and I’m enjoying sunny days and mild temperatures along with the inspiring atmosphere of the world-renowned Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. (Regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural even in the Southern Hemisphere, the even is now entering its 17th year.)
Staged within the Grand Dame of Melbourne (the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and the surrounding Carlton Gardens in the center of Melbourne City), the show is well established in the psyche of Australians as a “must see” event with visitors from around the globe.
Featuring the best landscape and floral talent Australia has to offer, the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is a celebration of Australian lifestyle and our great outdoors. This year’s popular themes have been sustainability and style, and how to combine them in ways even novice gardeners can do.
For me, this year’s highlights included:
Inspirational floral design with the conventional interpreted in flowers, fruit and root vegetables. I’m not sure about the longevity of a wedding dress made of garlic, but it would certainly protect the bride against cold & flu (and keep the vampires away):
Amazing combinations of Australian stone and plants all demonstrating the possibilities for us to use our gardens as an extension of the house (i.e. an outside room that just flows):
My favorite treat was seeing one of my favorite plants (and one of our own), Tropicanna cannas, included throughout the Carlton Gardens, looking resplendent with the sun shining through their amazing foliage.
So once again, I return home from the show with a thousand ideas of what improvements can be made in my own garden. I’ll then spend the rest of the year trying to decide where the design ideas can be replicated in my own surrounds, and how I can start these multiple projects in between the travel around the world required for our business.
If you have a bucket list and you’re a gardener, then it’s time to make sure that visiting this show is included as one of the key items. This time of year also has Melbourne hosting the month long Comedy Festival (of the same ilk as Edinburgh and Toronto), a food and wine festival and multiple other cultural activities, such as the launch of our Australian Football season, making it an incredible time to be visiting Melbourne.