The countdown is on for gardening gurus, floral fanatics and handy home renovators as the 23rd Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show is set to return to the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens this March. With a selection of international designers headlining the Show Gardens, new features inside the Great Hall, and the debut of the Welcome Garden, organisers are predicting record crowds.
THE WELCOME GARDEN
2018 will mark the unveiling of the first ever Welcome Garden, designed by 2017 Best in Show award winner Phillip Withers. Flourishing with a full spectrum of green hues, the biodiverse habitat is a place for visitors to relax and recline, plan their day at the show and participate in the various talks from designers and growers, as well as tours that will take place regularly throughout the day.
LANDSCAPE DESIGN SHOW GARDENS
A selection of the most talented local and international landscape designers will go head-to-head to win the Southern Hemisphere’s largest and most coveted gardening awards. Designers include Ross Uebergang and Yousuke Yamaguchi, who will integrate a Japanese tea ceremony into their garden of native plants, and Christian Jenkins whose mindfulness garden is created in collaboration with Beyond Blue. Orisis will bring a touch of Orient aesthetic, multiple award-winning Candeo Design will combine crisp designs with verdant foliage, while Eckersley Garden Architecture will pay homage to the quintessential Australian backyard. Other designers include MPF Gardens, Ben Harris Garden Design, Stem Landscape Architecture, and Tree & Shrub Growers.
The Great Hall will again be transformed into a floral wonderland of vibrant colour, bold blooms and perfumed petals, as world-class designers showcase their artistry and compete to take home the prestigious Gold Floral Design Award.
GARDENS BY TWILIGHT: FRIDAY 23 MARCH
There can be no better way to tide in the weekend than with a glass of bubbles in hand, strolling through award-winning gardens under dusky skies as live music plays and gourmet eats are on offer. Make sure to corral the office for Friday night drinks like no other as the Show stays open until 9pm.
RMIT FLORAL FASHIONS
Witness the next generation of Australian designers – fourth year RMIT fashion students – explore the relationship between humans and flora, as they create visually stunning and technically brilliant plant-based garments on display for all five days of the show.
LANDSCAPING VICTORIA BOUTIQUE GARDENS COMPETITION With gardening space becoming an ever coveted commodity, visitors can seek inspiration from the Boutique Gardens Competition, where five finalist landscape designers, architects and students come together to design 5m x 5m spaces.
ACHIEVABLE GARDENS BY NGIV
The Avenue of Achievable Gardens is a competition offering students the opportunity to showcase their design skills and horticultural knowledge, promote achievable gardening, and encourage the use of diverse, high quality plants in the landscape. A great learning experience, students go through the process of concept design, project coordination, and construction of a show garden.
Nestled within the Great Hall of Flowers, the Main Stage is 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 demonstrations and floral competitions from industry leaders.
THE DIGGERS CLUB
Australia’s largest gardening club returns to celebrate its 40th anniversary, with an abundance of heirloom fruits, plants and vegetables, as well as their beloved trademark pumpkin installation. The Diggers Club will present a series of seminars for visitors of all ages, from tips on pickling and preserving to heirloom education, the benefits of worms and beekeeping and ample opportunity to sample their delicious fare.
After spending the day surrounded by stunning blooms and floral installations, visitors can take home bouquets of their very own at the on-site flower market. Bursting with locally grown, seasonal stems, the market is the perfect opportunity to pick up a memento from the show and share fresh flowers with your friends and family. In a show first, Flowers Victoria will debut a dedicated wedding exhibit. Twenty handpicked boutique Melbourne florists and wedding stylists will showcase their designs and different approaches to floral wedding decorating on a huge 18-metre table.
FLORAL DESIGN WORKSHOPS
The perfect opportunity to flex green thumbs and create your very own take-home masterpiece, Melbourne Flower School’s Floral Workshops give visitors the chance to create stunning circular totems from an array of stunning blooms and native flora for $29.90. Tickets are now on sale here.
VIKING CRUISES HIGH TEA
A sell-out success in 2017, visitors are encouraged to book now as limited places are still available for some sessions in the Viking Cruises High Tea. A handcrafted, floral inspired menu will be complemented with a selection of teas and sparkling wine, all set to the backdrop of breathtaking floral installations.
As Australian leaders in DIY power tools and battery powered outdoor equipment, the Ryobi experts will help visitors find the right tool for their next project. With live on-stage builds and hourly seminars on all things garden and gardening equipment, show-goers can learn about the tools they need to perfect their outdoor space, or have the chance to build their own take-home vertical garden and test their garden tools in action.
Over 800 exhibitors will come together at the 2018 show to form an innovative retail product showcase, covering an extensive range of categories from garden tools to exotic plants.
LANDSCAPING VICTORIA ‘LANDSCAPE ADVISORY CENTRE’
Landscaping Victoria will be on hand to offer free professional advice with qualified and accredited landscape builders, gardeners and designers ready to answer all the questions visitors may have. Visitors are encouraged to bring building plans, ideas and inspirations for on-the-spot guidance.
LIVE STUDENT FLORAL DESIGN COMPETITIONS
Experience the skill, imagination and creativity of Victoria’s up-and-coming floral designers. Students will have one and a half hours to create a floral design based on a specific theme, on-site at the show.
A number of Victoria’s finest art societies come together at the show to exhibit and sell their beautiful pieces of work. Artists are on-site each day to assist with any questions visitors may have, and explain the motivation behind their work.
The Association of Sculptors of Victoria presents an open exhibition of sculptures, suitable for courtyards, gardens and estates, created by contemporary artists in media ranging from wood, stone, ceramics, bronzes and steel, all available for purchase at the show.
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 the Show’s official charity partner Kids Under Cover, all proceeds go to the charity’s youth homelessness prevention programs. Kids aged 14 and under are given free admission to the show.
Tickets are now on sale to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show here.
Dates: Wednesday 21 – Sunday 25 March 2018
Times: Open 9am – 5pm daily
Gardens by Twilight – Friday March 23 until 9:00pm
Venue: Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Carlton
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