The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show presented by Lawn Solutions Australia returns March 27 – 31, 2019 and brings a multitude of exclusive and immersive experiences to the city solely for the five-day event.
2019 marks the 24th year of the internationally recognised event, which unites the country’s most forward thinking and respected horticultural and floral designers, in addition to a host of interactive DIY workshops, retailers and one-off installations.
Show standouts include a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory inspired indoor plant feature, an installation of a mystical palace fallen into disrepair and overgrown with plants, wellbeing inspired gardens thanks to new charity sponsor Beyond Blue, and a one-night only Friday party in the grounds.
Visitors to 2019’s floral spectacular can expect Landscape Design Show Gardens from the biggest names in Australia as well as an impressive international component, to be assessed by a revered panel of judges. Confirmed designers include Brent Reid and Lawn Solutions’ Jason Hodges (constructed by Semken Landscaping), TRACT, New Zealand designer and Auckland Flower Show Best in Show winner Bayley LuuTomes, Inge Jabara, Christian Jenkins, Rob Waddell, Ben Hutchinson, Matt Ferris, and Sydney Ryan McMahon of Musa Landscapes in partnership with Beyond Blue.
Cycas Landscape Designs’ Mark Browning will unveil his custom-designed 2019 Welcome Garden: an interactive space where visitors can centre themselves and plan their Show day, as well as hear exclusive interviews and seminars from some of the Festival’s most prestigious headlining talent.
The new major charity partnership with Beyond Blue marks a new chapter for the Show, and is set to bring a renewed focus on the impact gardens, plants and outdoor spaces have on mental health and wellbeing.
“Gardening, getting outdoors and being close to nature can provide significant benefits to our mental health, especially in times of stress and anxiety,” said Beyond Blue’s Leader Clinical Adviser, Dr Grant Blashki. “Tending a garden is a fantastic form of mindfulness and creativity for people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds; it can help take people’s minds off the stresses in their life and provides an enormous sense of pride and satisfaction. We are very pleased to be part of one of Melbourne’s most loved events and look forward to seeing the work of Australia’s best garden designers in the 2019 event”.
The Royal Exhibition Building’s reinvigorated Gallery Precinct will be an hub of activity where visitors can meet local growers and purchase home-grown blooms and various other gifts, all while admiring the diverse art exhibition alongside the market.
The Great Hall of Flowers is where nature meets art, resulting in a biophiliac’s paradise of exploding blooms, conceptual arrangements, and endless Instagram moments from Victoria’s leading florists and floral designers as they battle it out for coveted award titles.
2018 Gold Winner Adam Asceno is set to stun with the creation of a spectacular palace that has fallen into disrepair and been overtaken by plantlife. The Plant Society’s Jason Chongue will make his debut with the hotly anticipated Charlie and The Chocolate Factory indoor plant design installation. 2018 Gold Display Award Winner Collectors Corner return to the Show with another mystical and thought-provoking installation – further details to come!
For one night only, city dwellers can enjoy after-work drinks and live music all while getting their floral fix in dusky, festoon lit surrounds at Gardens by Twilight. Watch the sunset with a glass of rosé in hand from Goodman Wines, a craft beer from locals Holgate Brewhouse, bubbles from everyone’s favourite The Prosecco Van, or a tipple from the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip. Gourmet eats and roving entertainment are all part of the exclusive night in the gardens, which runs until 9pm and gives the visitors the chance to see all the usual Show attractions as the stars come out.
The Boutique Garden Competition will return, giving budding landscape designers, architects and students the chance to design and install a 5m x 5m garden. 2019 finalists address a range of themes in their compressed gardens, from anthropogenic climate change to the integration of greenery into increasingly harsh cityscapes; designers tackle big sustainability issues while simultaneously creating tranquil, sensory escapes. Finalists include AKAS Landscape Architecture, Patricia Morrison, CoolTh Inc, Maia Coillard and Jake Baturynsky.
Whether eager to handcraft something for a loved one, or learn essential skills for flower arranging, The Melbourne Flower School will be helping visitors create plant-life masterpieces in their floral design workshops. Spaces are limited so visitors are advised to book tickets now. DIY enthusiasts will also have the chance to roll up their sleeves and get hands-on thanks to a number of complimentary workshops from power tool specialists Ryobi.
A sensory spectacular will be delivered by the ticketed The Holland America Line High Tea. Nestled in the heart of the Show, the exclusive dining space is the perfect place to enjoy floral inspired sweet and savoury petit fours with an obligatory glass of sparkling, freshly ground coffee or pot of tea.
Prestigious Tokyo Ichiyo Ikebana Floristry School will be flying over headmaster Naohiro Kasuya to showcase a spectacular Ikebana installation, celebrating the ancient floral art of Japan. Ikebana arrangements are designed to reflect the environment in which they are displayed, as well as the arranger’s emotions, creating an installation that not only showcases flowers in a vase, but the art of human communication.
Pioneers of heirloom sustainability The Diggers Club will bring a taste of their Heronswood estate to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show grounds, along with their annual cult favourite gravity-defying pumpkin installation. There is something to engage every sense in their garden, from samples of delicious heirloom fruits to the rainbow colours of their vegetable patch, tactile plants and the sound of buzzing bees and clucking chickens, as well as the sweet perfume of flower varieties that can’t be found in any other backyard.
Entering its 13th year, the Avenue of Achievable Gardens Design Competition offers students and educational institutions the opportunity to showcase their design skills and horticultural knowledge, promote achievable gardening, and encourage the use of diverse, quality plants in landscaping.
Those left inspired and raring to go by the Show Gardens – but in need of some vital logistical advice – should make a beeline for the Landscape Advisory Centre, where accredited professionals will consult on any building plans, ideas, photos and projects visitors are able to provide. Further floral insights can gleaned at the Main Stage, where Show-goers can enjoy a brimming program of complimentary seminars from celebrity landscapers, gardening experts, industry leaders as well as horticultural experts undertaking real-time demonstrations, and nail biting competitions.
The Baptcare Shop Window Floral Design Competition is an open competition for florists, designers, stylists, students and enthusiasts. This year, entrants must draw inspiration from the theme “Home is where the heart is” to create a floral shop window display to impress the public and judges alike.
Following on from a hugely successful year in 2018 where over 125 artworks by 65 artists were showcased, the Sculpture Exhibition returns to the outdoor Central Boulevard in 2019. Artists will be on hand to explain their works, which are available for purchase, and provide recommendations on how best to integrate to a garden setting.
In a unique convergence of florals and fashion, RMIT Fashion Design students will display some of the most daring, plant-based couture creations as part of their third year curriculum. Visitors will be stunned by nature’s transformation from twigs to tulle, foliage to fascinators and blossoms to bodices.
The Nursery and Garden Industry Victoria (NGIV) will debut an all new educational kids zone designed by Richard Bellamo. The space encourages little ones to get their hands dirty with pot planting, along with a bike installation where children can pedal to generate a water supply for their plants.
The retail component of the Show remains strong, with guests able to peruse the stalls of over 200 exhibitors covering all horticultural needs, from garden tools to exotic plants, outdoor accessories and stylish pots and planters.