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Sun. May 26th, 2024

Preparations for the Inaugural New England Garden Expo are going very well, with organisers crediting the ‘miracles’ that have come forward to help for making the dream a reality.

Lou Forsythe from the New England Garden Festival organising committee says the response has been fantastic, with 54 exhibitors locked in for the Expo. There will be practical sessions and 7 open gardens (4 open on the saturday and 3 open on the Sunday) showing off the best of Armidale’s gardens.

“We will accept applications from exhibitors up until the end of September, but after September 30 we want to concentrate on getting everything ready,” Lou said.

The sow-a seed competition is giving children and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to be a part of the expo, with 94 entrants.

“The vast majority are primary school children, so they have that to look forward to over the school holidays,” Lou said.

Lou says the experience of putting together the event for the first time has been a huge rollercoaster.

“You sort of hit a, hit a low but then all of a sudden somebody, just the right person, comes out of nowhere and lifts you right back up and you found the person that you need to do whatever you were needing to do.”

“Our website has received a massive amount of positive response, which is brilliant, and that’s all due to a lovely lady called Danijela.”

Danijela Krha Purssey is a local woman who runs an international magazine art and culture called “Beautiful Bizarre”.

“She has spent days and days and days on it for us, and she’s done it simply because she wants the garden festival to be a success. Isn’t that lovely? I’m very grateful to her,” Lou said.

“The community really is a very giving community. Incredibly so, and all of those people that are on board with their little bit are just little miracles, every single one of them.

The organising committee of just six people is now supported by many like Daniella who just want the event to be successful.

“We’ve got stallholders and we’ve got all the workshop people, we’ve got the support people.

“We’ve been working with Ken Peter in the Lions Club, pre cutting all the birdhouses so they’re ready for the workshop. And we’ve done all the succulent frames. They’re all done.”

“The most lovely people from The Armadale Quirky Quilters gave us a beautiful quilt as part of the raffle.”

“So, you know, there’s, there’s so many people and I am so appreciative and so are all the rest of the committee,” Lou said

The New England Garden Festival is also already planning for next year, and with the help of Ladybug Projects in Inverell, recently secured a $10,000 grant from the ANZ Seeds of Renewal program.

“So it means we start the year with a bit of money, which will be such a difference given we started this year with nothing,” Lou said.

The New England Garden Expo will be held on the 18th and 19th of November at the Armidale Racecourse. More details are available on their website at https://negf.com.au/

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