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The Wrap Up: Brisbane International Garden Show 2015

Spring has landed again in an eruption of colour and fragrance. In our cities all up and down the east coast, spring has also given us glorious sun, gentle rain and a host of new garden shows to entertain and inform us.

And it’s refreshing that one of these inaugural shows, a brand new major gardening event, the Brisbane International Garden Show, can really knock one out of the park in glorious Queensland sunshine over four days.


A beautifully presented barrow of potted colour decorates the inaugural Brisbane International Garden Show 2015


This show has exceeded expectations and offered the gardening public loads of inspiration with new plants, talented young designers, and words of wisdom from the experts.

Birds seem to be a popular theme here in queensland. We’re reminded of our fine feathered friend, Louis at Nambour earlier this year.This Central American macaw lives at the Melaney Botanic Gardens 

Brisbane has an atmosphere in springtime unlike any other Australian city. Lining the streets on the way to the 4BC studio is an old garden friend, a tree embossed in shimmering gold in the Brisbane sun, the Golden Trumpet tree, Tabebuia chrysantha. It’s Brisbane’s answer to Sydney’s Jacaranda. Planted as street trees and under-planted with hedges of fragrant Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Brunfelsia latifolia, they are a symbol of spring in the sub tropics and the promise of a golden summer.


Tabebuia chrysantha planted as street trees

Under the Tabebuia are hedged Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Brunfelsia latifolia

A four-day festival could have been ambitious. But exhibitors believed it was just the right duration to settle in and get their message out to the 20,000 visitors that came through the gates over the weekend. Clear to myself, and to other regular garden show-goers, that the sheer number of plant growers exhibiting, and selling great plants was one of the main reasons for this show’s success.


The stalls selected give this show a real country fair feel


Graham Ross was the star attraction on the Main Stage during Saturday and Sunday attracting big crowds, keeping them entertained and informed with lots of new plant releases, tips and tricks, and a few belly-laughs to boot!

Graham dusted off his world-famous stand-up comedy routine just for the show and had ‘em rolling in the isles


There was also a serious, competitive side to the event. Landscape design and construction was the name of the game. And the players really rose to the challenge. Entries were quite varied from the ultra-modern to the down-right quirky.

An unusual orange-themed garden by Eden included this giant orange bromeliad
Ahoy there. Certainly encamped in the quirky, this garden entitled ‘Shipwrecked’. Note the message laid out in stones on the beach.


A young local Brisbane landscaper has taken out gold and best-in-show in 2015 with an impressive, mature and truly international display.

Alistair Hutton, from A&R Evergreen, has created a garden called ‘Backyard Evolution’ that is an outstanding example of the sort of modern landscape design incorporating good horticulture that we have enjoyed at the Melbourne and Sydney garden shows over the years, and is a promising sign that there is Chelsea-worthy talent on the rise in North-Eastern Australia.
Talking to Graham Ross on 4BC at the weekend, Alistair said “We’ve been discussing (exhibiting a garden) for years, we really embraced it this year, as did the other competitors.”


Alistair Hutton’s ‘Backyard Evolution’ was a real hit with the judges, and the kids!


The garden had a unique theme and was inspired by Alistair’s love for his home town. The display moved through the evolution of Brisbane from a country town to a very modern, cosmopolitan city.

Alistair’s garden performed well enough in the judging criteria, design & impression, construction & finish, and plants, to put it into the gold medal category. Show garden judge, Jim Fogarty, himself an awarded show gardener, was pleased to see the consistent theme of Alistair’s garden expressed not only in hard elements of the garden but also in the plant choices.

Aloe Aloe! An excellent combination of hard elements and good plant choices put Alistair’s garden into the gold medal category


We are delighted to have been part of the first Brisbane International Garden Show, and we look forward to seeing all of our Queensland members again at the show next year.