Time sure does fly when you're having fun! It's that time of the year again - what time I hear you ask? Time for the premier gardening event of the year - the QLD Garden Expo in Nambour!
Calling all wannabe gardeners, all experienced gardeners, all gardeners like me, who love the results of pretty flowers, but don't really spend too much time getting them there…..there's heaps for us too, we can wander around and browse everything 'green' there is to see!
This three-day weekend extravaganza of all things 'garden' is held in the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Nambour and with more than fifty-five nurseries and 360 exhibitors, lectures, demonstrations and workshops, it's definitely a weekend to bookmark! Phew, and has the Queensland Garden Expo grown since its inception in 1985, when it was a one-day event with only thirty exhibitors and 300 visitors.
A full programme has been organised with free lectures and demonstrations on eight 'live' stages every day of the Expo, covering a huge array of gardening topics. The very popular 'Question and Answer' session will be held every day, hosted by a panel of gardening experts.
Free Plant Clinic
Is it a weed or an indigenous plant? The Plant Clinic will be offering free personal assistance with any gardening problems or plant identification by a dedicated team of gardening experts. Guess this will be one of my first stops to ensure I'm not weeding the wrong things.
The Reflection Gardens display is a new feature for 2017 at the QLD Garden Expo with a theme of 'Cocktail Hour/Sunset Drinks' - landscapers will demonstrate ways to enjoy the peaceful haven of your own garden.
How much fun will this be! Turn your shovel into a work of art and enter it in the inaugural 'Decorate Your Shovel' competition and be in the running to win a $300 First Prize or $150 Runner-Up in each category. Each Group entry will receive two free tickets to the Queensland Garden Expo and each Individual Entry will receive one free ticket to the Expo.
An excellent idea to get a group involved and potentially raise some funds for your activities or a fantastic school holiday project for the family.
If you have always wanted to know how you can make a difference to the environment in your own backyard, then The Giant Kitchen Garden is a feature at the Garden Expo you should not miss. The Giant Kitchen Garden, always a hive of activity, incorporates a totally organic food court, together with a fully planted sustainable garden, constructed on site.
A full program of lectures, demonstrations and workshops will be run on two stages in this area every day and there is a host of permaculture and organic gardening experts on hand to answer all your questions.
Expect to see more than twelve different garden societies and clubs, who will be showcasing their group's activities with some awe-inspiring displays.
In addition, a not-to-be-missed display of artworks by some of the Sunshine Coast's best Botanical Artists (centre Oval Marquee) and also displays and demonstrations by some of the Sunshine Coast's most talented potters.
We all want to attract wildlife to our backyard - except for the creepy crawlies, of course - so if you're keen on attracting birds, frogs, butterflies, bees or other wildlife to your garden, the Living Backyard is the place to visit. Experts who are totally passionate about preserving and enhancing native flora and fauna will be on hand at the Living Backyard area to give you tips on creating a bio-diverse environment within your own outdoor space.
In many cultures, gardening and cooking and the social interaction of sharing these activities with friends and family is an integral part of day to day living.
If your interest is growing your own produce and turning it into gourmet meals, or learning new tips and tricks on using herbs and spices then you'll have to head to the Gourmet Garden Stage, which will be located on the Eastern side of the Oval.
This is such an awesome idea - the Garden Expo will be running a 'Repurpose your coffee cup' refill station every day. Such a simple idea, with loads of benefits - buy a coffee at the Expo, take your takeaway cup to the refill station and have it filled with potting mix and a small plant. This is a fantastic recycling innovation to involve visitors to the QLD Garden Expo to do their bit towards saving our environment and also perhaps get visitors thinking about ways to recycle used objects at home.
You can visit the Coffee Cup Refill Station on the Oval during these hours
Friday 11am to 3pm
Saturday 10am to 3pm
Sunday 10am to 3pm
The Floral Art Display and Competition is organised by the Nambour Floral Art Group and attracts spectacular entries every year. This display is located upstairs in the Pavilion building just inside the main entrance.
Are you interested in participating with a floral arrangement of your own? Please click here to read the Competition Schedule, with details on how to enter as well as an Entry Form. There are numerous levels of design including a section for novices or first-time exhibitors specifically for any newbies to the art of floral design.
The QLD Garden Expo is a fun-filled event for the whole family and the littlies have definitely not been forgotten.
First and foremost is the Old McDonald farm for a fun and interactive experience with farm animals - bottle feeding, hand feeding and brushing some real cutie farm friends. You'll find the baby farm animals near the Banksia Stage.
Secondly, there's the Kids Garden Patch, where the little ones can get their hands dirty with a vegetable dig, sand pit, craft area and even seed planting.
And there's still more - a free playground with a giant slide, jumping castle and a merry-go-round, all of which will be a sure-fire hit with our favourite little people. The free playground is located in the grassed area near the grandstand.
On Saturday, 8 July, the Zinc 96.1 team will be at the Expo with giveaways and games.
Don't forget - all Children under 15 have FREE entry!
Costs for the QLD Garden Expo
Can you believe that entry prices have stayed the same for the past four years?
Adult Entry - $18
Aged Concession - $16*
Children 15 years and under - FREE
Groups of ten or more - $16
3 Day Pass - $40
2 Day Weekend Pass - $30
Concession* will be given to Pensioner Concession Card, Queensland Senior Card, Disability Card and Queensland Carer Card holders only
Exhibitor bookings are now open for the 2017 QLD Garden Expo. For important information on being an exhibitor or to apply online, please click here.
Gardening is one of the most therapeutic recreational activities one can participate in, so why not get the dirt on all things gardening and bookmark the 2017 QLD Garden Expo - it's going to be plants, plants and more plants!