If you're a fan of gorgeous blooms, stylish landscape designs and unique sculptures, then this is definitely the show for you.
Each year the exquisite heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens hosts the five day extravaganza that is the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. Taking place in Autumn, the show is a celebration of lifestyle and our great outdoors. It features the best landscape and floral talent from Australia and around the world alongside an extensive array of garden retail products.
Every year, thousands of visitors flock to Melbourne to take part in the festivities and witness blooming gardens, colourful trails and beautiful flowering plants at the largest garden show in Australia.
Highlights of the show include the Great Hall of Flowers, the Boutique Garden Competition, the Baptcare Shop Window Floral Design Competition, RMIT Fashion Design student showcase, and DIY floral workshops by the Melbourne Flower School.
This was my third time attending the show and I always enjoy myself immensely. I can't claim to have a green thumb nor am I particularly motivated to turn my own rather lackluster garden into something spectacular, however I'm more than willing to admire those that do.
As I mentioned above, the show is held inside the Royal Exhibition Building as well as around the grounds of the Carlton Gardens. The show is huge and you can easily spend an entire day exploring everything on offer.
I always buy my tickets online as it means I don't have to lineup at the gates. Tickets will generally set you back about $28 for an adult which is pretty reasonable in my book, and kids under the age of 14 are free.
Inside you'll find all the exhibition booths as well as stunning displays. There's the Great Hall of Flowers which features a glorious and vibrant exhibition from Victoria’s leading florists and floral designers, as well as the Retail Flower Market where people can buy blooms direct from the growers. The Hall also houses the RMIT Floral Fashion exhibit which is a big draw card.
The inside exhibition is split onto 2 levels with upstairs housing the table centrepiece competition entries as well as artwork (painting and photography) and the cafe. The building can get quite hot (especially on the second level if it's a really hot day outside) so make sure you take some water with you. There are also wandering performers both inside and outside that delight the children and the adults.
Outside in the Carlton Gardens there is tonnes to see and do. The Avenue of Achievable Gardens Design Competition is where students and educational institutions get the opportunity to showcase their design skills and horticultural knowledge, promote achievable gardening, creativity and encourage the use of diverse, high quality plants in the landscape.
Arguably the most popular feature of the entire show are the stunning Show Gardens which are designed and built by the most talented Australian and international designers. The landscape designers go head to head to win coveted awards in what is considered the largest and most significant gardening award ceremony in the Southern Hemisphere. The Show Garden Design Awards recognise excellence across landscape design. Take it from me that they are absolutely stunning an not to be missed.
I always like having a wander around and looking at all the gorgeous sculptures that are also on display. Most of the artwork that you'll see at the show will be available for purchase, just check the information sheet nearby. This little guy below was unfortunately well outside my budget, but we make a cute couple don't you think?
Apart from looking at the gorgeous gardens (and telling myself that I'll totally try some of the stuff I take photos of in my own garden), I always pick up some bulbs from the stalls that sell just about every flower bulb you can think of. You can also grab gardening tools, fresh cut flowers, garden ornaments and tonnes of other stuff.
I had a fantastic time and I think it just gets better every year. So if you're in the city during March and want to take in some real natural beauty, then head on down to the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.
Until next time,