Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show

When the final weekend in draws near, Melbourne’s gardening gurus and fervent green thumbs can be spotted leaving their own private patches for a far bigger backyard. With wheelbarrows in tow and car boots cleared, last weekend we joined the steady stream of horticulturalists en route to the Carlton Gardens to witness the city’s most floriated festival.

Now in its 20th year of operation, the 2015 Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show was, quite literally, in full bloom. A sensory experience of the most fragrant form, whether you were attending for the arrangements, Avenue of Achievable Gardens, to score a nifty tool or two (or simply, to accompany the handyman hubby) it was impossible to leave disappointed – or without a pocket full of the prettiest posies.

Meandering through the fragrant-filled halls of the Royal Exhibition Building, our minds were blown by the handiwork of RMITs Fashion Design students, who completely rewrote the definition of ‘organic’ dress. Outfitted in roses, cacti and wildflowers alike, this group of talented young designers will be responsible for replacing floral prints with real life peonies, proving wearable art is acceptable in both the gallery and gardening scene.

Sharing the limelight with the fashion students were folks from our local Floristry schools, with the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and Marjorie Milner College confirming there is certainly fresh talent in the flower arrangement field. Curating their displays in front of a crowd on the show’s opening day, watching our up-and-coming florists work their magic was only one of many live displays. DIY demonstrations and in depth discussions on all things scents, succulents and soils ensured the program left no landscaper alone.

And if The Great Hall of Flowers deserved half a day’s dedication, the show’s alfresco area left us wondering if we needed a two-day pass. The exclusively designed display gardens looked as if they’d been carefully cultivated for years, and, hosting a brood of chickens and patches bursting with turnips and tomatoes, the Food Forest inspired the gardener as much as it did the gourmet. We nominated Luke Rabi’s honey-bee-homage as our favourite display, half hoping Pooh Bear himself would jump from the gardens very own hexagonal honeypot.

While the crowds were almost as thick as the vegetation on show, if you arrived willing to weave your way through the masses and wait in line for both lunch and peeps at some of the more popular landscapes, you undoubtedly left with a plethora of plant-like knowledge and a sustainably satisfied soul.

If you missed out on attending this year’s show, don’t fret. From a 1996 bud to a 2015 blossom, we have no doubt next years festivities will see the Flower Show enter full bloom. Fashionistas, foodies and flower fanatics, we recommend pencilling it in.

Photography by Michelle Ducasse exclusively for THE F. 

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Photography by Michelle Ducasse for THE F.

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Photography by Michelle Ducasse for THE F.

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James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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