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Countdown to Chelsea

This morning I opened up my Facebook feed to find that an old travel companion had created an installation for this years Chelsea Flower Show. Is it really that time again….already? Jo was a uni student when we met many moons ago in Central America, but she has since forged a successful career in interior design and prop styling. The display she has created for the flower show features a Sunflower garden, made entirely of fabric and paper, held together no doubt with the assistance of every tradie lady’s favourite tool, the hot glue gun.

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Image; Jo Bailey

The Chelsea Flower show runs from Tuesday May 23rd til Saturday May 27th this year and promises to provide new ideas, fresh inspiration and as always wonderful, eye catching, stunningly beautiful garden displays. In addition to 28 gardens, and 100 plant displays, this year there is also a secret garden which is only visible from a viewing platform, BBC Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens with each garden focused on heightening one of the 5 senses, a fruit and vegetable garden with over 50 varieties of edible produce, urban murals and much, much more.

The Chelsea Flower Show is certainly on the bucket list for most florists, and for those who are lucky enough to get there this year, I’m sure it won’t disappoint. As this is the first show after Brexit, the show organisers were keen to rethink the show and it certainly has been reinvigorated, with lots of fresh content which has been key in the increased interest in the event. In the past the tickets have been slow to sell with tickets even available on the day. However this year, unbelievably, the popular show sold out more than 2 weeks before it opens, and now tickets are being offered online for £1300 a pair!

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Image; Telegraph

Also this year, Dame Judi Dench is being celebrated; having a gorgeous apricot toned rose named in her honour. The rose has a medium tea scent, and is a David Austin style rose.

Judi isn’t alone though, over the years many celebrities have had roses named in their honour. Barbara Streisand, an avid rose fan, has a deliciously fragrant lilac rose named after her. Freddie Mercury fans are said to have fund raised over 2000 pounds to breed a yellow rose in his honour 2 years after his death. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Catherine) had a soft apricot rose that opens to white named in their honour at the show in 2011. And Julie Andrews had a rose named in her honour at the Chelsea Flower show back in 1992.

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Image; Barbara Streisand rose via Telegraph
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Image; William and Catherine Rose by David Austin

I can’t wait to see the photos emerging next week when the show opens, and I am keen to see how the public receives the new format and new features. As always, for the moment anyway I will admire the pictures from afar, but one day, maybe one day I will get there myself!

Stay tuned!

Fwf x

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Floriade for the Whole Family

At the beginning of September, Spring shows start to pop up everywhere, celebrating the start of the new season, and the notoriously beautiful selection of flowers now available.

Floriade, Australia’s biggest celebration of Spring, has been running for 28 years in the Nation’s capital, at Commonwealth Park, just outside the city centre.

For just 30 days, between September 12th and October 11th, Floriade 2015’s theme of ‘Reflection’ showcases a million flowers in bloom, creating garden beds as floral tributes to the Centenary of the Anzac landings at Gallipoli. There are 14 symbols and corresponding gardens.

floriade symbols

Some of the garden beds and their respective symbols can be seen below;

red cross

‘Australian Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian movement, dedicated to preventing and alleviating human suffering. The organisation has provided aid during times of hardship and adversity – through natural disaster response and the provision of life-saving blood – since its establishment in Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. Its emblem means ‘don’t shoot’ – signifying that neutral and impartial aid is here for those in need.’

souther cross

‘The Southern Cross is a group of stars visible all year round in the southern hemisphere. One of the most distinctive patterns in the night sky, it appears on flags and insignia and is regularly honoured as a symbol of national pride and resolution for Australians.’

the rising sun


‘For more than a century, the “rising sun” motif has formed an integral part of the badge worn by Australian soldiers. These badges have become widely associated with the spirit of the Anzacs.’

Apart from Floriade’s gorgeous gardens which are obviously the main reason most people come, this year, the show has something for everyone. There is a Man’s Cave where hubby/boyfriend/friend can hide away with his fellow homeboys and have some down time in a casual bar setting.There is a great variety of eating options; Tex Mex style nachos or burritos, fish and chips, souvlaki, Turkish gozleme or South American style churrasco. Coffee stops are sprinkled throughout as well as stalls where you can get fairy floss or a stick or candied popcorn and nuts. Yum.

Kids corner caters for the younger crowd with pony cycles, face painting, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and more!

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Images: Floriade Australia


Image; Floriade Australia

I found the Gnome Knoll hilarious and endearing. The Gnome painting is organised by the Rotary Club of Canberra East to help raise funds for their work in the community. Floriade visitors are encouraged to purchase a gnome and paint it to enter it in one of the age or group categories. There were ‘Movember’ Gnomes, Leprecauns, Anzac themed Gnomes. My personal favourite was the ‘Homeless Gnomes’ category which could be purchased (read: adopted), already painted in a somewhat haphazard style. Of course our delightful daughter decided she couldn’t live another day without a gnome of her own, only to have a complete meltdown after we purchased it but explained we wouldn’t be painting it then and there. That is one DIY project we are yet to begin….after the PDA (Public Display to gain Attention) Miss Gnome had to come home with us to attempt at a later date.

Image: Facebook via Floriade 2015 Instameet. Photo by Kazuri Photography.

For Floriade’s opening week, Floral designers were encouraged to enter in ‘Hort- Couture’, where visitors were transported through the decades with the floral fashion competition.

Hort couture 1

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As always there is plenty of gardening advice on offer, as well as culinary demonstrations, dance, art and dreamtime workshops, as well as roving performers throughout Commonwealth park. There is also a giant ferris wheel, a monumental slide, or take a nostalgic spin in the teacups.


Whatever you fancy, Floriade provides a fun day out for the whole family. It is still on for another few weeks, so take the opportunity to get out and enjoy the beautifully moderate springtime weather. Floriade’s Nightfest is on daily aswell and visitors can expect to see Commonwealth Park transformed with spectacular lighting displays, night markets, and entertainment (fee applies).

Image: Facebook via Floriade
Image: Facebook via Floriade
Image: Facebook via Floriade

Til next time,

Fwf x


Garden Bed Logos and significance of symbols:



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