Saturday, March 29, 2014

Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show 2014 review

Today I made my annual journey to the Carlton gardens for every Melbourne plant and garden nerds favorite show MIFGS (pronounces miff-guss by those in the inner circle) aka the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. The weather was overcast in the morning but the sun broke through the clouds with impeccable timing, beaming onto the exhibits and show gardens as soon as I left the main building to wander outside. I'm not sure what the overall head count was but the show was packed with more visitors than I have ever seen. I heard that there were record numbers visiting on the first day so it looks as though gardening is well and truly booming in the city of Melbourne (which is interesting considering the rather savage weather Melbournites have endured this summer). As usual I bought a few packets of bulbs. For the record this year I purchased Oriental liliums,  drumstick alliums, peacock flowers and a single Ferraria crispa to compliment my Ferraria undulata. Because of the sheer numbers there it was difficult to get good photographs without waiting for ages for people to clear out of shot. Nevertheless I took quite a few. If you are reading this the night I have posted it then tomorrow is your last chance to see the show before it packs up for the year. Get down there and have a look.

Interflora was the major sponsor of the flower section. Just like last year they didn't fail to impress with their display.

I took several shots of the flowering arrangements done by my fellow students at NMIT. The floristry students are in the same building as the horticulture students and as such I see them working away during the year.  This first shot is an arrangement by Alena Matthews. At first it seemed very morbid but it is actually representing the Mexican 'day of the dead' festival.

 Leyla Ismail from NMIT did this this lovely display.

Margaret Mclennan from NMIT took out 3rd place with the arrangement below. The sun was really streaming in with intensity from behind the arrangement making it difficult to get a good shot.

Bianca Besanco from NMIT secured 2nd place with this arrangement.

Finally Susie Dimitra Portelli from Marjorie Milner College won first with the arrangement below. Damn it NMIT bought home the silver and bronze but missed out on the gold.

Ever since I obtained my first David Austin last year I've become a real fanboy of Mr A's roses. The new rose they were showcasing there was called 'Princess Anne'. Of course I had a whiff and of course the perfume was amazing.

Another company that always puts on a great display at any MIFGS is Tesselaars. The sun lit up these jonquils just at the right time.

Everyone loves Hyacinths.

Tesselaars are most well known for their tulips. I love the ones to the right. They are called 'Monet talent'.

Speaking of Monet you can see why he painted tulips. The only editing I did on the picture below was bumping up the light levels a smidgen along with bit of cropping. The more I look at the photograph I took below the more it looks like a painting (especially the red tulips at the front). 

 Sean Diamond created this steel eagle.

Alistair Mason created the sculpture below named 'Chook Chaser'. It is made from reclaimed steel.

'The midnight garden' was designed by Lisa Ellis gardens. It took out first place in the boutique gardens section.

The next four pictures are of the 'Patriarch garden' by Cycas Landscape Design. It took out the gold medal and overall best in show awards. Yes it was stunning and in my opinion deserved to win. Aside from the plants I loved the paving and steps they incorporated. There was lots of natural stone in this design.

This next shot is of the design called 'Here & Now' by Phillip Withers. It won the sustainability award.

One of the big draw cards for this years show was a design by uber designer Paul Bangay. When I saw the design at the show I liked it but I wasn't over impressed. Then when I got home and looked at the photographs I snapped I seemed to like it even more. It a really well layered design and being a Paul Bangay design it incorporates a bit of topiary. Paul named this design 'Tension'.

 The next two shots are of a design called 'The Muse' by Natural Design. I love that sculpture in the foreground.

 This next design is called 'Vanguard' by Hunter Black Designs. It took out the bronze medal.

The picture below is a design called 'Left-overs' by Ian Barker Landscapes. It featured an old shipping container as an outdoor living space.

This design is called 'A gardeners garden' by Emma Tenni and Thomas Pinney of NMIT. It took out third place in the achievable gardens category. This category showcases up and coming talent as all designs are by horticulture students.

 Below is a design called 'Edible space' by Scott Tappenden and Melissa Greenslade of NMIT. It wond second place in the achievable gardens section.

And first place went to.............  Kingsley A Barker from Holmesglen TAFE! Incredible just as in the flower arranging  my fellow NMIT students take out 2nd and 3rd but miss out on 1st place.

Last of all I'm going to finish off with these humungous corten steel birds Folko Kooper and Maureen Craig. Impressive they are but maybe a little bit too large for my garden at home.


  1. WOW- would have loved to see this in person!!

  2. I wanted to go this year but missed it. Thanks for sharing it through your eyes

    1. My pleasure Annie. I'm sure next years MIFGS will be just as good or even better than this years.