After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Melbourne International and Flower Show is back with a bang. The southern hemisphere’s largest horticultural event will inspire garden and plant and flower lovers of all ages.
Bigger and better than ever, the festival’s outdoor program will boast more than 30 enchanting garden displays across seven categories including the Scotts Osmocote Welcome Garden by Candeo Design, and the first-ever Celebrity Show Garden designed by 2022 Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, in collaboration with Vivid Design. Fully accessible, ‘Tramlines’ will incorporate native plants and shrubs from Victorian nurseries and be auctioned online with 100% of proceeds going directly to the Dylan Alcott Foundation.
Gardens will return with captivating horticultural displays alongside the Boutique Gardens with a clever collection of 5m x 5m designs from the nation’s top creatives. Over in the Achievable Gardens, budding horticulturalists will showcase a series of approachable gardening solutions using quality materials with previous graduates returning to exhibit new works in the first-ever Emergent Gardens.
In a Show first, Scotts Osmocote Indoor Plant Zone will provide a haven for indoor plant lovers with an A Z of species to explore, free advice from gardening experts, and a curated selection of plant care products. For those looking to get hands-on, 15-minute indoor planter and succulent growing sessions will be hosted by the Scotts Osmocote team each day, with attendees taking home their new creations.
Set beside the stunning Carlton Gardens lake, oenophiles will be eager to explore the Wine Selectors Wine Garden complete with wine tasting masterclasses to educate visitors on how to identify the flavours they find in their wines. Those with a palate for fresh produce can learn about the intricate history of heirloom veggies and how they can grow their very own at home at The Diggers Club Urban Farm.
Inside the Royal Exhibition Building, visitors will be spoiled for choice with a stunning selection of interactive workshops including table centrepieces and Japanese kokedamas. Australian rising star, Morgan Hipworth, of artisan bakehouse Bistro Morgan, will headline the luxurious High Tea feature with his signature culinary delights. Guests will receive a specially curated treat complete with custom-designed recipes to take home. Hipworth will also present a pop-up Bistro where Show visitors can purchase his renowned treats.
The Great Hall of Flowers will boast an incredible collection of award-winning floral displays from some of Australia’s top established and up-and-coming designers. Brides and grooms-to-be will be enthralled by this year’s Wedding Floral Showcase with charming displays to suit a range of budgets, styles and
locations. Attendees can also browse a collection of show-stopping creations from RMIT design students as part of a new and improved floral fashion display, before building a beautiful bouquet to take home from the Flower Market.
From 5pm until 9pm on Friday 1st April, Carlton Gardens will transform into a twinkling paradise for Gardens by Twilight. Accompanied by the dulcet tones of emerging Melbourne musicians, city-goers can experience the Show under a whole new light thanks to leading landscape lighting and design specialists, Gardens at Night. Sip on a glass of bubbles from The Prosecco Van and enjoy an indulgent selection of gourmet bites from local culinary delights.
Over in the Royal Exhibition Building forecourt, the brand-new Autumn Night Garden will come alive with sprawling light displays, food trucks, and free live performances from over 20 Melbourne-based musicians, from 4:30 pm until 9:30 pm, Wednesday 30th March until Saturday 2nd April.
More than 500 works from some of Australia’s best artists will be showcased on the mezzanine level of the Royal Exhibition Building and throughout a selection of outdoor spaces as part of the revamped Arts and Sculpture Precincts. Meandering through each creative space, aesthetes will have the chance to enjoy live demonstrations by esteemed wood, limestone and clay sculptors, and even purchase original pieces to adorn their garden or home.
Demonstrating the Show’s increased commitment to sustainability, the new Sustainability Space will play host to the festival’s sustainability partners, Bio-Gro and Closed Loop with flower beds made from recycled materials and a wealth of educational resources. Helping to reduce the event’s environmental impact, organisers aim to divert over 500m3 of waste from landfills in 2022.