Apr 10

National Gardening Day on 14 April marks just 12 weeks until the start of one of Australia’s most-loved gardening events, and this year, the Queensland Garden Expo is gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary with a spectacular four-day affair from 4-7 July on the picturesque Sunshine Coast.

The Nambour Showgrounds will once again host more than 40,000 visitors at the seven-hectare immersive gardening experience with this year’s program increasing from three to four days.

The event boasts a showcase of more than 360 exhibitors presenting a diverse range of gardening-related products, and features Australia’s largest gardening speaker program including ‘Australian gardening royalty’ like Costa Georgiadis, Jerry Coleby-Williams, Claire Bickle, Millie Ross and Phil Dudman – to name but a few.

Joining in the excitement once again, is none other than Australian gardening icon and TV personality, Sophie Thomson, who has been a regular speaker at the Queensland Garden Expo since 2016.

Ms Thomson said she always finds time for the annual Expo in her busy schedule as a popular presenter on the ABC’s iconic Gardening Australia and more recently the recipient of an Inspiring South Australian Women’s Award.

“The Queensland Garden Expo gives you both inspiration and information for whatever size garden you have, wherever you live, and whatever your budget,” said Ms Thomson.

“It’s designed by gardeners for gardeners. I love the incredible array of plants and garden art, and the program of over 150 garden talks is incredible.

“When I get the program, I go through the talks with a highlighter to mark all the ones I would like to listen to.

“I also love that you can talk to experts whether it’s specialist plant growers, beekeepers, floral artists or members of the Horticultural Media Association. 

“I always love the Kitchen Garden displays created by Tohm and members of the Perennial Poppies, but to be honest the entire event is wonderful as the exhibitors, the garden clubs, the nurseries and the speakers are all part of one big family.”

Ms Thomson said the 40th anniversary had her reminiscing on how far gardening has come since the Expo’s first event in 1985 and her own journey into gardening.

“I was a punk teenager who had bright orange hair with hair extensions and lots of crazy makeup and clothes,” Ms Thomson said.

“It’s great to see an increased interest in growing edibles and indoors, but also greater recognition for the value of gardens and gardening to support our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and that of our communities.”

Sophie Thomson in the mid 80s with car, “Morrie”.

Event Manager Marion Beazley said that by staying true to its roots and retaining the authenticity the event has become known for, the Expo has garnered a devoted following of attendees from across the nation and even internationally.

“The Queensland Garden Expo was conceived by a group of Sunshine Coast people from the nursery and gardening industry who wanted to share their love of gardening and their knowledge with local gardeners, and has grown year-on-year into the gardener’s paradise our visitors travel far-and-wide for today,” said Ms Beazley.

“More than 65 per cent of people who attend the Expo have travelled from outside the region with many stating the great access to the who’s who of gardening, the more than 150 free lectures and demonstrations across six live speaker stages and the direct access to nurseries and growers to ask questions relevant to their own gardens, as the main reasons they love this event.

“That’s the beauty of the Expo, you definitely don’t need to be a pro-gardener as we have something for everyone – from absolute amateurs to fanatical green thumbs and everyone in between!

“With a jam-packed schedule celebrating our 40 years featuring the popular Poultry Spectacular, expert-led advice on home produce cultivation and cooking demonstrations, there’s never been a better time to immerse yourself in the world of Queensland Garden Expo.”

The four-day Queensland Garden Expo will be held from Thursday 4 July to Sunday 7 July at the Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Avenue, Nambour.

Entry is free for children aged 15 and under with a giant kids’ playground to keep them entertained.

To find out more and purchase tickets online, please visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au.

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