Enjoying the Show – The Benefits of Garden Expos

For any gardener, no matter how passionate or skilled, a day out at a garden expo is a wonderful experience. Inspiration abounds, with the spectacular displays, expert presentations and the latest innovations, all at your fingertips.

Great garden shows cater for all ages and abilities, with the central focus to inform and encourage the community to enjoy their own gardens. Novice gardeners can also gain a great deal of confidence from seeing first-hand how specific plants are grown and immersing themselves in the world of gardening.

Event Manager for the Queensland Garden Expo, Marion Beazley, firmly believes in the benefits of garden expos for the numerous positives not just to the individual, but to the community.

“Gardening events can give gardeners the opportunity to get information specific to their particular interest, promote the health and wellness and environmental benefits of gardening, and give gardeners current information about a range of topics. All this in an enjoyable ‘day out’ format,” she said.

“Gardeners can play an important part in how we interact socially, protect the environment, respond to climate change and promote activities that support health and wellness. Gardening events along with other media can play a big part in guiding this.”

The Queensland Garden Expo is celebrating its 35th year this July, transforming from a one-day event with a group of local nursery industry growers and public talks, to a three day event packed with up to 40,000 visitors each year. The event is organised by Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland Sunshine Coast Branch and brings together over 50 nurseries, 360 exhibitors and 40 expert presenters from around the country each year.

“We pride ourselves on staging an event that caters to all ages and abilities. Information, inspiration and innovation are the pillars of the event. We have a strong focus on providing practical information,” Marion said.

“We also encourage novice gardeners, children and young families to get involved and provide activities and information that hopefully inspires and gives them the confidence to try out gardening themselves.”

One of the greatest benefits to visiting a garden expo is the opportunity to connect with like-minded gardeners, where each can share their own passion, experiences and gardening know-how. Visitors will not only find information on their own gardening interests, but are exposed to a host of other ideas too. While one person may be highly skilled in growing food and knowledgeable around the incredible health benefits of gardening, another may be an expert in tropical plants or waterwise gardening practices. In an expo setting where all things gardening are melded together in a practical, yet highly inspirational way, new passions can ignite and new information can be passed on.

Emerging trends also feature strongly at garden expos, offering visitors the chance to learn more about the latest innovations or updated information on best practice. For example, in Queensland;

“The event has always tried to respond to and predict changing trends in gardening and tailor displays and talks around these trends. The introduction of our Kitchen Garden feature over 15 years ago predicted the increasing interest in home grown produce and this continues to remain popular today. Another very popular feature is the living backyard. This feature is about considering the larger environment in an urban setting….In recent years, the health and wellness benefits of gardening have become increasingly important and we will see activities and talks around this continue to evolve in the years ahead.”

No matter where you live in Australia, there is a garden event to seek out. Stay on top of your local guides to find out when and where, then book your tickets! A large garden expo, such as the one in Queensland or the popular Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, are also worthy centrepieces to a week away, and well worth the time, effort and money to check them out.

“I think the future of gardening events is very positive. Gardening is a pastime that has very wide appeal. Whilst events continue to refresh and respond to gardeners’ interests, they

will continue and gardeners will travel long distances to enjoy them. The longevity of the top events in Australia and around the world is good testament to this,” said Marion.