Gardening is a big deal right now. There seems to be an inner-city warehouse plant sale every weekend and Facebook groups are full of people pining over monsteras and pileas. Sounds like the perfect time for a five-day flower and garden festival.
The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show will take over the Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding Carlton Gardens from Wednesday March 21 to Sunday March 25. Now in its 23rd year, the show is known for its examples of wild creativity and innovation. There’s an overwhelming list of exhibitors, talks, workshops and displays, so we’ve highlighted eight top picks you shouldn’t miss.
Gardens by Twilight
Swing by after work on Friday 23 and explore the show with a glass of craft beer or champagne in hand. It stays open until 9pm so you can wander the gardens under fairy lights as the sun sets and live music plays. Food trucks on hand will include Beatbox Kitchen, Taco Truck, Purely Delish and Agape Organic. Wood-fired pizza will be slung from a potting shed. More information here.
Floral Design Workshops
Learn how to make a petite floral totem in this 30–40 minute workshop with Melbourne Flower School. The base of your arrangement will be a natural timber slice and you’ll build on it with different greenery textures and structural pieces before topping it with a Cymbidium bloom. All flowers and materials are provided. Bookings required.
RMIT Floral Fashions
RMIT fashion design students will showcase high-end fashion pieces made completely of greenery and flowers. See the bold ingenuity of Melbourne’s emerging fashion designers up close with their take on surprising floral couture.
The Digger’s Club – Heirloom Fruits and Veggies, Seminars
A 1940s-style potting shed and a chicken shed made of recycled materials will be the centerpiece of The Digger’s Club exhibit. It will also feature the show’s famous heirloom pumpkin display, which will be integrated into the potting shed design.
With a focus on backyard gardening, various achievable-at-home gardens will be on display including a pollination garden to attract bees; a picking-garden of beautiful flowers; a tropical garden featuring rare fruit, such as babaco; and a seasonal veggie garden. There will also be talks on pickling, growing your own veggies, the benefits of worms, building a chook house and more.
Cubby House Challenge
If you’re feeling priced out of the housing market, take a look at the five spectacular architectural marvels up for auction at the Cubby House Challenge. There’s a cubby that looks like a minimalist Connect Four game; another inspired by a dream-catcher with rainbow threads; and another that looks more like a designer off-grid log cabin than somewhere kids can make mud pies. All sales here go towards youth homelessness prevention initiatives.
Landscape Design Show Gardens
See a garden where a Japanese tea ceremony meets Australian natives, a mindfulness garden created in collaboration with Beyond Blue, and other pioneering designs by local and international landscape garden designers.
Wedding Exhibit by Flowers Victoria
Even if your wedding bouquet ends up under the heel of your aunt’s twisted stiletto, flowers are an important element of every wedding. Twenty boutique Melbourne florists and wedding stylists will be showcasing their designs on an 18-metre long table.
If you want to take home something beautiful you certainly can’t let wither or neglect, eleven art societies will be here selling flower and garden inspired art.