Five day floral and garden festival finishes on a high
Over 91,000 eager green thumbs flocked to the 2018 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show last week to admire an array of award-winning gardens and seek out new and rare blooms, striking floral installations and engaging presentations.
The Show was a feast for all five senses, with visually stunning Show Gardens designed by the best national and international landscaping talent, the scent of thousands of blooms perfuming the Great Hall of Flowers, delicious morsels at the sold out Viking Cruises High Tea, hands on workshops for those wanting to test their skills, and dedicated sensory zones scattered throughout the show.
As gates opened on Wednesday morning, winners of the coveted Design Awards were announced.
Councillor Beverley Pinder bestowed the title of most outstanding exhibit with the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show to ‘Australian Case Study Garden’ designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden.
‘Australian Case Study Garden’ by Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden also received the Gold Show Garden medal alongside the spectacular ‘Inspired by Time’ designed by Orisis. The ‘Silver Show Garden’ was given to ‘Square 1’ designed by Candeo Design and ‘Living Garden’ designed by STEM Landscape Architecture & Design.
In a hat-trick for the young trio, The Horticultural Media Association Award (HMA) for Best Use of Plant Life went to ‘Australian Case Study Garden’ designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture and Australian House & Garden.
The honours kept coming and the Landscaping Victoria Boutique Gardens Award was presented to the ‘Patina Garden’ designed by Gerrad Everson, Octopus Garden Design, while RMIT’s emerging fashion designers were recognised for their floral couture ingenuity with the RMIT Student Floral Fashion Design Competition awarded to Angus McCormack.
Over $70,000 was raised for the show’s official charity partner Kids Under Cover at the Cubby House Challenge® Twilight Auction Event, which saw top architecture and build firms vying for top bids on their custom-created children’s playhouses. It was hot property as the highest bid went to Becon Constructions and Watson Young Architects cubby house Rocky Road which sold for $20,500 – with all proceeds going toward preventing youth homelessness
Thousands of Friday night visitors enjoyed the show and all its features with a glass of sparkling in hand under the setting sun during the enchanting Gardens by Twilight evening.
Best in Show, Gold Show Garden Award and HMA Best use of Plant life winners, Eckersley Garden Architecture commented: “We were fortunate enough to partner with Australian House & Garden this year. To celebrate their 70th anniversary we designed a contemporary garden that pays homage to the Australian backyard – Hills Hoist and all. For E-GA, the best part of the show has been the sense of community. From the visitors, our incredible contractors to all the other talented designers – it is great to see everyone engaged, sharing their passion for gardens and getting stuck into it. There is something for everyone and that is what the show is all about.”
Baptcare’s Shop Window Floral Design Competition showcased the skills of twelve established and emerging designers, with Nicole Gibson & Greg Milner taking the winning entry for the ‘flora that blossoms with age’ theme.
The Australian leader in Power Tools, Ryobi was a huge hit with live on-stage builds and hourly seminars where budding DIYers could start projects using the best tools for the job and take their masterpieces home.
Hundreds of retailers lined the outdoor gardens, vending everything from the latest nursery innovations to rare and exotic plant breeds. The entrance to the Royal Exhibition Building was transformed into a bustling cut flower market and a captivating central display by Maxiflora.