Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

The final pruning and polishing is being done in preparation for this weekend’s inaugural New England Garden Festival being held at the Armidale Racecourse.

The New England Garden Festival aims to bring together gardeners, specialists, professionals and the community for fun and educational activities, along with a great range of retail therapy with a vast array of stall holders. Inspirational gardens will be opened, along with competition gardens in many categories.

Special guest for the festival is TV personality and landscape designer Brendan Moar, and Armidale boy who is now regular seen on The Renovators Show and has released a number of books and videos about gardening. “Bill & Ben The Flowerpot Men will also be visiting the festival on Saturday.

Winners of the Armidale Garden competitions were announced on Wednesday:

151 Barney Street. Outstanding. Excellent choice of plants. Restrained use of colour. Meticulously maintained. Expertly designed by the owner. An artist’s garden.

53 Translator Road. Very relaxed feel. Informal beds of colour. Outer area of garden is native and
blends with local natural vegetation. Courtyard. Fruit trees. Vegetable garden.

198 Cluny Road. Outstanding large garden with terrific flow between areas. Beautifully maintained.
Sweeping beds. Lots of grasses. Massed plantings of waterwise plants.

68 Taylor Street. A garden of nicely blended old-fashioned favourites all in keeping with the age of the house and blending beautifully with the house. Cottagey feel. Waterwise plantings. Well maintained.

19 Judith Street. A florist’s garden. Lots of colour and variety. Shrubs and perennials in a variety of
colours. Waterwise plantings

151 Mann Street. Large city allotment with a lot of surprises. Huge range of plantings. Some unexpected. Beautiful relaxed feel. A garden much loved over many years. Inspirational.

PLC Junior School. A developing garden but impressive because of the involvement and enthusiasm of the students. Impressive too was the use of the garden as a source of educational activities. Bee hotel, worm farm, chookhouse, plants name tags, plant growth tracking.

The above gardens will be open to the public between 10 and 12 on Saturday and Sunday. Entry is
by gold coin donation.

The festival will also feature great music and food, with local musicians playing both days – Chilli Jam, 4 Book Trilogy, Paul Longley, and Strung will be performing, and 2ARM will be at the festival as well playing music and conducting interviews.

A huge number of workshops and interactive sessions will be held during the festival, including session on propagating and pruning, taking care of your tools, how-to’s, and using your garden for mindfulness. Some of the other highlight workshops include:

  • Make a Birdhouse
  • Aqualess: Building soil health with wicking technology
  • Bonsai for Beginners
  • Traditional Food and Medicine
  • Mosaicing Made Simple
  • Stonemasonry Demonstration
  • Creating Critter Habitat
  • Fungi Ecology
  • Careers in Horticulture

And there is a lot of fun planned as well, such as gum boot and garden glove throwing competitions, and plenty for kids such as face painting and colouring in.

There’s also a number of competition winning gardens around the community that will be open for viewing, and a fundraising raffle to raise funds for our local Can Assist.

The New England Garden Festival is on this Saturday 9am till 5pm, and Sunday 9am till 2pm. More information is available on their website.

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