Green Thumbs Galore at 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show
Over 101,000 green thumbs flocked to the 2017 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show last week to admire an array of award-winning gardens, new and rare blooms, striking floral installations and engaging presentations from the experts.
The Show was a true feast for all five senses, with visually stunning Show Gardens designed by the nation’s best landscaping talent, the scent of thousands of blooms perfuming the Great Hall of Flowers, delicious and delicate morsels at the inaugural Bee Garden High Tea, hands on workshops for those wanting to flex their green thumbs, and advice from some of the most qualified experts in the industry on the Main Stage.
The high standard was set from day one, when winners of the coveted Design Awards were announced. ‘I See Wild’ by Phillip Withers Landscape Design took out multiple awards including the City of Melbourne Award of Excellence for Best in Show and the Gold Show Garden title. PTA Landscapes & Tract Landscape Architecture received a Silver Show Garden Award and the Mark Bence Construction Award for their ‘Back to Babylon’ garden. The Horticultural Media Association Award for Best Use Of Plant Life went to ‘Metropolis’ presented by Pavers Plus, designed by Candeo Design. The Achievable Garden Award went to ‘Awash with Nature’, by Dale Johnson, Liz Beale and Ross Peck from Swinburne University of Technology. The Landscaping Victoria Boutique Garden Award went to Emmaline Bowman of STEM Landscape Architecture & Design for her stunning native garden.
A record breaking amount of over $160,000 was raised for the Show’s official charity partner Kids Under Cover with the Cubby House Challenge®, 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 bids went to GLOWB by Agency of Sculpture & Playce, which took out an astonishing $26,000 – with all proceeds going toward preventing youth homelessness.
What better way to enjoy the Show and all of its features than with a glass of sparkling in hand under the setting sun? Friday night visitors seemed to agree as thousands of people enjoyed the enchanting Gardens by Twilight for one exclusive night only.
Best in Show and Gold Show Garden Award Winner Phillip Withers remarked, “We couldn’t have asked for a better Show, we’ve had a great time and the public are really embracing it. The level of talent and prestige is always high, and it has been good to see some fresh blood creating designs with substance and meaning. We’re seeing all different age groups and demographics come together, not just those interested in gardening but those who want the full experience too, that’s the future of the Show – and it’s starting right now”.
In addition to the creative gardening skills and captivating blooms on show, visitors were entertained with a bevy of flora-inspired activations. Baptcare’s Shop Window Floral Design Competition showcased the skills of established and emerging designers, with Gina Bednarski from Kiki Floral taking out the winning entry. Australian leaders in Power Tools, Ryobi, proved to be a huge hit their “Make and Take” masterclasses, where budding DIYers could start projects using the best tools for the job and take their masterpieces home. Renault promised to keep Australia green with their Bamboo Green Trafic Van, pledging to plant native trees for each van sold to offset emissions for the first 7 years of its working life.
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, presented by Flowers Victoria and dozens of stunning outdoor sculptures ran through the main avenue outside.
The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show will return Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th March 2018.