By Matthew Lunn – Executive Officer
After a delay of nearly five months due to COVID-19, the Perth Garden and Outdoor Garden Festival finally went ahead. For the first time in its 49-year history, it was held in spring at Langley Park Perth.
Under almost perfect weather, members of the Nursery & Garden Industry Western Australia (NGIWA) once again came together to form one of the main attractions for the festival with the avenue of nurseries, all promoting the best in greenlife at their exhibition stands. There was a good mix of plant material on show and despite the timing of this event, when nurseries are at their peak in sales across the state, there was plenty for the people of Perth to come and enjoy buying.
Native plants have continued their rise in fashion at the festival. Muchea Tree Farm and the Australian Native Nursery created award-winning displays containing local and Australian indigenous species, all suited to Perth’s drying climate and the home gardening practice of being Waterwise.
Visitors to the festival enjoyed a variety of experiences with show gardens to inspire the not so green fingered, and educational exhibits from Irrigation Australia, Landscape Industries Assoc WA and Western Australian Landscape Design Association. NGIWA, in conjunction with the Water Corporation, provided a large display showcasing Waterwise Plants from the WC Directory and information on Careers in Horticulture which provided a useful hub for the number of students who visited the event over the four days.
Charlie Albone, from Better Homes and Gardens, provided the headline act for the Richgro Stage, as well as a number of NGIWA members who provided a variety of talks to inspire the new-age gardeners of the future.
Green Industry Australia’s CEO Jo Cave, who was also in town to meet the NGIWA board and members, also took time out to visit the festival with GIA’s Plant Protection Officer Steve Blyth and myself. The festival will return to its normal calendar slot of early May for 2023 and judging by the response from this year’s visitors, the garden festival continues to grow as NGIWA’s annual feature event.