Discover what’s on show
This March, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens will transform into a lavish garden paradise for the 22nd Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, the southern hemisphere’s largest horticultural event. This year’s Show promises to be an immersion of all senses: with stunning show gardens, spectacular floral installations, interactive workshops, expert talks, tantalising food experiences, live entertainment, hundreds of plant retailers and of course, the captivating scent of thousands of flowers.
Long-time attendees of the show will find firm favourites returning as well as a myriad of enticing features, new to the Show in 2017.
Situated in Carlton Gardens, the show gardens are fully realised conceptual spaces, designed and built by Australia’s foremost landscaping talent. 2017’s line-up of designers include Double Chelsea Flower Show Silver Gilt medallist and Selling Houses Australia co-host, Charlie Albone, AQL Landscapes, Phillip Withers Landscape Design, Cycas Landscape Design, MPF
Garden Company, Waddell Landscapes, Candeo Design, Tract Consultants and the Tree & Shrub Growers Victoria. The most sublime entry will be awarded the title of Best in Show in the Show Garden Design Awards.
Not to be outdone by the stunning show gardens outside, the perfume of thousands of flowers will waft through the Royal Exhibition Building with dozens of striking, conceptual installations produced by Australia’s leading floral artists. The space will also house a bustling Retail Flower Market where attendees can purchase bouquets of fresh blooms
direct from Australian growers.
For those who wish to experience the Show in a different light, Gardens by Twilight is the perfect opportunity to stroll through the dusky Show after hours. Open until 9:30pm on Friday 31st of March, attendees can view the enchantingly lit gardens with a glass of sparkling and soak in all the usual show features available throughout the day.
Not your average catwalk, the RMIT Floral Fashions display is a showcase of the third year Fashion Design students’ exceptional talents. Using their skills in fashion and floristry, each student creates a custom outfit using only flowers and foliage. This year’s garments will be inspired by the National Gallery of Victoria’s Victor&Rolf: Fashion Artists Exhibition.
Proving gardens are only limited by imagination, not size; five finalist landscape designers will each produce an intimate, 5m x 5m display garden. The Boutique Gardens are the perfect place for urban dwellers to draw inspiration for their inner-city gardens, where space is a premium.
Now in its 11th year, the Achievable Gardens showcases the talents of Victoria’s brightest student landscapers with twelve designers chosen to create their own 5m x 3m installation at the show. The Avenue of Achievable Gardens Design Competition offers students and educational institutions the opportunity to showcase their design skills and horticultural knowledge, promote achievable gardening, creativity and encourage the use of diverse, high quality plants in the landscape.
Nestled within the Great Hall of Flowers, the Main Stage will be programmed with free seminars from an extensive line-up of floral artists, gardening experts and celebrity landscapers. Glean insights into a range of horticultural topics, as well as live demonstrations and floral competitions from industry leaders.
THE DIGGERS CLUB
Champions of organic gardening, The Diggers Club, promise to whisk visitors away on an extraordinary Victorian food affair. The plant conservation group will create an artful, edible garden arena and heirloom tasting station, ideal for learning about the extraordinary vegetable and plant varieties not found in supermarkets.
A chance to learn from the best in the industry, the floral design workshops cover everything from designing your own flower crown, producing hanging succulent gardens and creating the perfect posy. Located inside the Royal Exhibition Building, tickets to these intimate masterclasses are strictly limited, with bookings to be made via the website.
Over 150 exhibitors and retailers will come together to showcase the latest in gardening and outdoor lifestyle products as part of the 2017 Show. From exotic plants to gardening tools and the latest in outdoor entertainment, the Show is the perfect place to procure everything you need for your blossoming garden.
Australian leaders in DIY Power Tools and battery powered Outdoor Equipment, Ryobi will be on hand to ensure attendees find the right tool for their next project. With two locations across the Show, DIYers can learn about the tools needed to perfect their outdoor space or get hands-on with Ryobi power tools inside by creating take-home herb gardens in the hourly workshops.
For those seeking direction for their own gardens, the landscape advisory centre is the ideal place to take advantage of free consultations from accredited landscape designers. Registrations are now open via the website for free 25 minute sessions.
Up-and-coming floral artists are given only an hour and a half to flex their creative muscles and produce their own floral design in this live demonstration arena. Both levels of Competition will take place on Wednesday 29th March with the Intermediate Competition kicking off at 9.30am and the Advanced Competition from 2.00pm.
Based on the theme ‘flora that deserves the best of care’, entrants in the Baptcare Show Window Floral Design Competition are invited to create a window display using only flowers/plants that are fastidious or require special care in some way. Encouraging the designers to think creatively about what ‘the best of care’ means to them, the competition will be a unique display of highly delicate flora.
For those seeking an original work, make your way to the second floor of the Royal Exhibition Building where a temporary art gallery will be showcasing new works from Victoria’s finest art societies. The artists themselves will also be present to divulge their creative process and explain the motivations behind each piece. All artworks will be available to purchase on the day.
Produced by the Association of Sculptors of Victoria, the Central Boulevard of the Carlton Gardens will transform into an outdoor sculpture garden with a number of new sculptural works commissioned for the Show. All works will be available to purchase.
KIDS UNDER COVER CUBBY HOUSE CHALLENGE®
Kids and adults alike will not want to miss the Cubby House Challenge® – the annual auction of spectacular cubby houses created by leading Australian design and architecture firms. Coordinated by Kids Under Cover (the official charity partner of the 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show) all proceeds from the auction go to the charity’s youth homelessness prevention programs.
Flowers won’t be the only vibrant feature of the show with dozens of roving entertainers and musicians set to light up the grounds over the five days of the show.
BARS AND BITES
Visitors to the Show will not go hungry with a series of garden-themed cafés, bars and high tea spaces scattered throughout the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens. Like the Show itself, this enhanced food fare will champion Victoria’s exceptional regional produce, catering to families and foodies alike.
This is just a selection of the things to see and do at the Show this year. Tickets are now on sale to the 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show via RACV.