The day started at 7am at The Shed, with 4 of us sorting some of the items to be taken to the ECRC by the removalists. This year we had some added problems of a smaller number of helpers, especially in the morning to set up trestles, and finding the right sized cloths for each table. Despite the usual trouble of trying to identify all the flowers that come in unnamed, Miriam, along with all the other helpers, including some from Maroondah Group, did a great job creating order from the chaos.
As well as a stunning display of named flowers in both halls, what great displays were made from some of the unnamed flowers, in baskets and vases, which also adorned the entrance and foyer. Friday is always a tiring day, but with all the willing helpers, and a welcome relaxation over a pizza dinner, the set up was done by 9pm, and we looked forward to Saturday.
People queued at the doors half an hour before we were due to open, ready to speed in and find that special treasure that was published on the plant list. The visitors worked their way around the halls and corridor engaging with helpers and stallholders then stopping for a delicious Devonshire tea before finishing their plant shopping or picking up books. Children raced around excitedly finding their targets whether plant specimens or small Aussie animal replicas as they filled in their booklets. Speakers and demonstrators inspired their audiences with botanical art, wonderful native bonsai and a seasonal garden story about the tiny creatures that call our garden home.
The atmosphere was happy, the sun shone for the first time in weeks and there was no rain. We were lucky. There is nothing to compare with the camaraderie between all the members helping on the weekend. The smooth running of the weekend is in large part due to the preparation that unfolds in the months before. We do need more people willing to help run this wonderful event, so join in – you won’t regret it. The result is most satisfying.
Here is a link to most of the flower specimens on display. Flower Display
Below is just a small selection of photos taken at the expo, of both flower specimens contributed by members, and of other displays and stalls. Thankyou to Ben Eaton, Leanne Stute, and Jill Lulham for the photographs.
Jill & Joanne