Happy 20th Birthday Melbourne Flower & Garden Show

March 27, 2015

The Sturt Desert Peas in the Northern Territory display garden were shivering this morning at the opening of the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.  This year is the 20th year which is a remarkable achievement given there was a big push from nay sayers to have it moved away from the Carlton Gardens and Exhibition Centre.  It is always a fabulous event and this year no exception.

The Northern territory garden featured red sand that you will see on your holiday up north.  The wildflowers and natives look beautiful set against their red sand backdrop.  Some of them will grow in our climate but sadly most wont but the point of their display was to get you to plan your holiday to the Top End.  When the weather gets cold here in winter it would be a wonderful place for a short escape.

The weather looks good for the rest of the week so pop along and have a good look and be inspired.  The display gardens are always my favourite area.  The garden that stood out to me was  the Japanese styled “Wellness Garden” developed by Beyond Blue with help from Christian Jenkins.  The garden uses classic Japanese elements like the gravel garden, the bridge, cloud pruned pines, Japanese  maples, a pond and a tea house to inspire happiness contentment, enjoyment curiosity and engagement.

In the garden a stone path winds through the garden on a journey leading you to the tea house.  Five stone steps have been placed to represent the five ways to well being of Beyond Blue.  These five ways are:

  • Connect with people around you, with family, friends, colleagues and neighbours
  • Be active go for a walk or a run, step outside and  cycle,  play a game or garden or dance because exercise and moving your body makes you feel good.
  • Take notice  of the world around you, be curious,  catch sight of the beautiful and gardens are a wonderful place to observe all kinds of beauty from textures to flowers,  remark on the unusual and reflect on your experiences as it will help you appreciate what matters to you.
  • Keep learning, try something new,  rediscover an old interest because learning new things will make you more confident and gardens are great places to learn new things like growing food, starting plants from seed, germinating bean sprouts or reconnect with things you did as a child when maybe you helped your grandparents in their garden.
  • Give to others.  This doesn’t have to be expensive or hard.  Keep it simple.  The easiest thing to give is a smile.  Start there and maybe build up to thanking someone for something they did.  Later you may feel like doing something nice for a friend or a stranger.

Gardens are wonderful places that can help us reconnect with the earth and can help us heal ourselves and help others.

Whilst on the subject of helping others I must mention YoungHort, a group of young people in the horticulture industry  who have recently formed to inspire other young people to pursue a career in Horticulture.  I chatted with Kate Grace whos the Australian Director that germinated the seed that’s grown into such an exciting initiative.  They are keen to promote the myriad of opportunities that are available in the horticulture industry.  Kate herself has worked internationally and travelled with her gardening career to places most other 23 year olds only dream of.  If you have a young person in your family who is looking for a rewarding and challenging career opportunity get them to have a chat to the YoungHort group at the show or look them up online at www.younghort.com.au and on facebook www.facebook.com/younghortaus.

This year at the show I spent time connecting with people to find out a little more about them beyond their gardens and favourite plants.  Most gardeners have heard of and most likely grow at least one flower carpet rose in their garden.  The group behind these wonderfully successful flower carpet roses is Anthony Tesselaars International Pty Ltd.  They released Tropicana Cannas some years ago Volcano Phlox which are colourful and fragrant, Pacific Sunrise and Pacific Sunset Coprosma which are colourful and hardy showstoppers in any garden.  They also have a new release of Sweet Spot roses which will be available this spring.

I had a chat to Phillip Townshend, Operations Director and heard some of the amazing story of what is an amazing success story in our own backyard.  Tesselaars have sold over 100 million flower carpet roses around the world, mainly in USA, Europe and Australia.  Surprisingly they do not grow roses or any other plants, instead they licence other growers around our region and elsewhere to supply top quality stock to fill the massive quantity of orders they receive each and every week.  As well as that they manage the plant sales areas of stores like Home Depot and others throughout America and Europe.   The total number of stores they manage is close to 9300.   Phillip told me Home Depot stores are similar to but larger than Bunnings here in Australia.  Tesselaars have branches overseas to help run their operations.  Clearly the horticulture industry in Victoria and indeed Australia is puching above its wheight.    Phillip and the rest of the team at Tesselaars and all other players in their group focus very hard on supplying top quality reliable easy to grow and guaranteed to perform plants.  My chat with Phillip was a fascinating look at the horticuluture industry.  I will be following up with Phillip and others in the garden game and I will keep you posted so we can grow together.
Enjoy the show and I’ll see you in the garden.

At TOP hEDGE our Horticulturists and Green Gardeners know all this and mulch more ways to make you garden thrive in our conditions, so if you love your garden but never have enough time contact us on 03 5330 1071.