Archive for the ‘Garden Shows’ Category


The theme was Roses are Forever.  Yes, that’s one theme that’s been flogged to death, but if it meant that there would be lots of roses at the festival, then I was all for it.

A colourful expanse of torenias, cataranthus, impatiens, tagetes and roses led us towards the pavilion which housed floral arrangements and the plant bazaar. With barely two hours before nightfall, that was all we managed to cover.

I didn’t get any roses.

I ended up with a baeckea frustescens instead. I was fascinated by the beautiful prize-winning bonsai specimens but settled for a small plant which was within my budget.

They had just about everything at the bazaar; herbs, fruit tree saplings, flowering plants, foliage, tillandsias, orchids, epiphytes … you name it.

That fleeting visit whetted my appetite for more and I decided to go again on the last day. This time, I had to brace myself for the relentless mid-day heat.

Many plants had succumbed to the heat over the week and had to be replaced. But it would take more than a few scorched plants to detract from the beauty of the displays.

Not surprisingly, there were almost as many temperate flowers as there were tropical ones. There were rudbeckias, begonias, agapanthus, lilies, fuschias, hydrageas … and of course the countless rose cultivars.

Two exhibits stood out from the rest; the whimsical Gardens of the Yesteryears with their whitewashed arches and birdhouses …

and the local rainforest with jungle plants and lush undergrowth.

I zigzagged through the exhibits, and gravitated back to the bazaar. Perhaps there would be better bargains waiting for me.

I bought an adenium obesum; the hybrid Patuma has the loveliest double petalled light pink flower which actually looks much like a rose. It’s no wonder that they’re called desert roses.

So, my total haul – two tiny but treasured trophies. Until next year then …

If anyone’s keen, word’s out that the next floral fest at Putrajaya will be from 30 June – 8 July 2012; dates which may be worth noting in every gardener’s calendar.

More photos ….

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I know exactly what Becky Bloomwood feels.

But Sophie Kinsella’s fictional shopaholic would never have understood my ordeal. You see, I was at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.

It was a heady experience and it wasn’t just the intoxicating perfume of the hyacinths and the inspiring garden displays.

I was overwhelmed by the number of stalls which beckoned me with their wares. “Buy, buy, buy,” they called.

Unfortunately I was reminded of the unfavorable exchange rate, baggage restrictions and quarantine issues. So this was one shopaholic who was forced to exercise some form of self-restraint.

There were flowers and plants at every corner. I couldn’t decide what I loved best. The tulips and hyacinths were delightfully pretty, the pansies and violas piquantly so.

I was equally charmed by the clematis. The flowers were amazing and each pot seemed lovelier than the last. How I yearned for a plant or two!

Then I chanced upon a fruit salad tree.

If I thought 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 drink sachets were an inspiration, I was totally gob smacked at the idea of an 8-in-1 fruit tree. Totally ingenious … but what does the tree feel about it, I wonder.

I checked out the Collectors Corner and Triffid Park stalls which, for some reason, were sadistically (so I thought) placed poles apart.  😀

Every sarracenia was beautiful – the squat, the tall, the reds, the yellows. If only I could buy them all. Those ‘Gobble Guts’ were gorgeously lethal!

They had almost everything at the show; they even had truffle trees.

But would anyone pay AUD125 for a small oak tree that’s been injected with black truffle spores? One would have to be really, really patient to wait for a whiff of the truffles.

Nearer at hand were herbs. There were all sorts.

There were herbs that repelled insects as well as herbs that attracted felines.

One thing’s for sure. I’ve no need for any feline-attracting herbs. There are enough strays in the neighborhood as it is!

But the herbs seemed to have attracted other forms of wildlife as well.

There were at least a couple of sassy six-foot tall seagulls, a huge terrestrial fish and a mangy-looking dog which pee-ed as it pleased.

They appeared out of nowhere, poking their heads into bags and nudging visitors. Some visitors made a beeline for the creatures while others gave them a wide berth.

If nothing else, they provided plenty of laughs and entertainment. 

I must have walked my legs off zigzagging through the park, diving into every stall there was.

By four, my growling stomach was protesting loudly, having long digested my picnic lunch and the free samples of lemon myrtle macadamia nuts and boiled lavender sweets.

I spent more than six hours at the show and still managed to miss a few of the displays.

My uncle told me later that the Melbourne Flower and Garden show is said to rival the one at Chelsea.

“Some even say this garden show’s better,” he added. That’s not hard to believe, but just to be sure, maybe I should make a date with the show at Chelsea as well!

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