What’s On Day 2 at AGSS

Wondering what’s on the program of events for day two at the Australian Garden Show Sydney? There’s plenty going on, come down and enjoy this beautiful spring weather in Centennial Park. Highlights for the day include:

Seeds of Wisdom

1pm – Andrew Fisher Tomlin and Tom Harfleet take the stage, chatting about their experience with showing gardens internationally

2.45pm – Our balcony garden queen, Indira Naidoo, will take to the stage to talk about how to grow food in a small space

4.15pm – Hear the french inventor of vertical gardens, Patrick Blanc, chat all things vertical gardening. Do not miss this one!

Sharpen Up Your Garden & Sustainability Talks

Don’t miss the fantastic speakers live in the Sharpen Up Your Garden and Sustainability Talks today, including Angus Stewart, Kim Syrus, the Iris Society, Matt Carroll of Hortiman, and horticultural journalists Catherine Stewart & Helen Young who will talk about how to improve your soil.

There’s also free floral arranging and floral photography workshops, the Ross Garden Clinic and cooking demonstrations by Sammy and Bella in the Lindeman’s Open Garden. The bars and restaurants are open, serving morning and afternoon tea, lunch and dinner.

Come down and join us!


Brendan Moar Wins Best In Show!

The prestigious Best In Show award was presented tonight to Brendan Moar for his garden Suspended at the inaugural Australian Garden Show Sydney Opening Night Awards within Centennial Park’s spectacular surrounds.

Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of New South Wales, Patron of the Australian Garden Show Sydney, presented the prestigious award this evening, after officially declaring the 2013 Australian Garden Show Sydney open. The show, held within the grounds of Centennial Park from 5 – 8 September will open its gates to the public tomorrow at 10am.

Brendan designed his garden in conjunction with the NGINA (Nursery & Garden Industry of NSW & ACT) focusing on the idea of being up close, surrounded by, and immersed in plants. Suspended celebrates the theme ‘plants enhance your life’, with the shape and form of plants within the garden driving the architecture of the space rather than the other way around.

The hanging plants suspended, floating and defying gravity are at the heart of the garden. Plants hover above a central pond, their vertical lines echoed by other elements throughout the space. Low slung platforms curve back upon themselves repeating the form of a dramatic snake-like silver pipe planted with a profusion on flowering and edible plants.

“I’ve never done a show garden. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve done and exhausting but also the most satisfying,” said Moar after accepting the award.

Better Homes and Gardens TV presenter and presenter of Radio 2GB’s Garden Clinic, Graham Ross VMM chaired the panel of judges comprising three-time NHGA Garden Designer of the Year and event Ambassador, Andrew Fisher-Tomlin, Linda Ross, Michael Bates, Joe Snell and Ben Hoyle.

“This is a world-class event, bringing together some of the best horticulturists and landscape designers from Australia and around the world. The quality and variety of gardens built for the show is just incredible but Brendan demonstrated an innovative approach to garden design the judges couldn’t go past,” said Ross.

Jim Fogarty was awarded a gold medal for his Inspirational Garden, The Last To Leave, built on site in just over a week. Inspired by the poem, ‘The Last To Leave’, written by Private Leon Gellert, Jim’s Gallipoli Garden is a reminder of the sacrifice of so many, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the battle.

Peta Donaldson took out the award for the Best Urban Garden and was presented with a $10,000 prize from Debco made up of $5000 in cash and $5000 in Debco products to assist in designing an Inspirational Garden at the 2014 Australian Garden Show Sydney. Her garden, The Terrace, is a modern take on a classic ‘70’s contemporary design using natural minerals, clean lines, varying levels and simplicity. It maximises minimal space, incorporating many elements that enhance the outdoor experience in an urban environment.

Indira Naidoo won the Environment Excellence Award presented by Lindemans for promotion of sustainable and environmental ideas. The Kitchen Garden is a 1000 square metre, fully sustainable edible garden demonstrating the full life cycle of gardening.

The public will have a chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award over the course of the event by picking up an entry form at any garden and dropping their vote off at the Lindemans Open Garden or café. The award will be drawn on Sunday afternoon

Environment Minister Robyn Parker joined NSW Governor, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, to officially open the Australian Garden Show Sydney and to announce the winning garden displays.

“Congratulations to the award winners of the Inspirational and Urban Gardens and Environmental Excellence award. The gardens created are stunning and definitely not to be missed,” said Minister Parker.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events George Souris said, “The Australian Garden Show Sydney is the perfect opportunity for visitors alike to make the most of their own backyard here, receive some great gardening tips and ideas and really enjoy the spectacular displays day and night.”

Tickets are available for the show through Ticketek, including at their Westfield shopping centre outlets.

Inspirational Garden2

Top Tips for Urban Gardens at Home

We’ll have lots of Urban Gardens to get great ideas from at the show this week. Come along to the show to pick up some inspiration for your small space or inner-city garden, with Urban Gardens by designers including Christopher Owen, Katie Burgess, Peta Donaldson, Samuel Chamberlain, Lilly van Epen and students from Yallah and Padstow  TAFEs. Here, garden designer Andrew Fisher Tomlin shares his top design tips for small urban gardens.

Awkward shaped gardens

• Create a completely new layout within the garden and ignore the site boundaries and the shaping they impose,

• Plant the boundaries and around the new layout to lose any reference to the original layout

• Look for the longest dimension in the garden and exploit it

• Borrow the planting outside the garden from your neighbours to blur the boundaries

• Give all boundaries the same dark colour to simplify them

Long narrow gardens

• Exploit the long vista to exaggerate the size and scale of the garden

• Divide the garden into a series of spaces creating different themes and moods

• Use horizontals that cross the garden such as hedges and paving pattern to get a visually widen the garden.

• Move pathways and routes across the space to exaggerate distance and visual interest

• Lose the side boundaries with planting as much as possible.

Privacy and being overlooked

• It’s not everywhere so make sure you only attack the problem where it matters.

• Formal hedges are great but give everyone on both sides more maintenance

• Manmade structures like pergolas can give a sense of privacy but will create more shade

• Negotiate with your neighbour for some higher planting from trellis and climbers

• Use a mix of tree and shrub heights to blur the boundary and deflect attention from what you are screening.

Slopes and level changes

• Embrace the level changes with terracing to provide different characters in different areas.

• Try not to make too many level changes to keep costs down.

• Be careful not to raise decks and seating which overlook your neighbours.

• Use plants on slopes to create a predominantly green view from inside.

• Water on slopes can look stunning but get a professional in to help construct a water feature.

All year round interest

• When are you going to be enjoying the garden? If you’re not there some of the year you don’t need all year interest!

• Integrate plants to provide different seasonal hits such as bulbs in spring beneath autumn coloured tree foliage.

• Group plants across the garden to provide areas that peak at different times such as separate summer and winter borders.

• Use barks and stems in winter when flowers are scarce to get a different type of interest.

• Don’t be quick to cut back grasses and seed heads – let them fade when they still look good.

Top 5 designer mantras for a small garden

• Keep things simple – don’t mix too many materials, keep the layout and planting simple and stick to a single colour theme

• Plant generously to lose your boundaries and make it feel larger

• Prioritise the real needs rather than trying to pack everything in

• Organise storage in clever ways

• Plan for shade from boundaries, neighbours and planting



NSW Governor Confirmed as Vice Regal Patron for AGSS

Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of NSW has been confirmed as the Vice Regal Patron of the inaugural Australian Garden Show Sydney.

Her Excellency Professor Bashir will be in attendance at the Awards Evening on Wednesday 5 September 2013, and will officially open the show before presenting the prestigious Best In Show award to the most highly awarded garden displaying at the show. Graham Ross will act as the Convenor of Judges, heading a panel of distinguished and awarded gardening identities.

It is a significant coup for our first year event, and we are honoured the Governor has accepted our invitation.


OzHarvest Partners with Australian Garden Show Sydney

OzHarvest, the food recycling charity doing amazing work around Australia, have partnered with the Australian Garden Show Sydney as the official charity of the show.

Produce from the sustainable, edible Kitchen Garden will be donated to OzHarvest, a non-denominational charity that rescues excess food which would otherwise be discarded. This excess food is distributed to charities supporting the vulnerable in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane. OzHarvest was founded in Sydney, November 2004. Beginning with just one van, they delivered 4,000 meals in their first month of operation.

Currently in Sydney OzHarvest delivers over 320, 000 meals per month with a fleet of 11 vehicles, and Australia wide OzHarvest delivers 441,500 meals per month with a fleet of 15 vans. This equates to 147 tonnes each month.

OzHarvest believes that good food should not go to waste, and by distributing it to those in need they turn excess food into a resource and save thousands of kilograms of food from being dumped as landfill each year. On average, every kilogram of food that OzHarvest rescues will avoid 2 kg of greenhouse (kg CO2-eq) emissions, and avoid the consumption of 143 litres of water.

Food is generously donated to OzHarvest by those with excess. By distributing this food to various charities, OzHarvest assist them to better and more efficiently address the underlying social problems in our society. With this support charities are able to redirect funding to programs assisting those who are disadvantaged or at risk.

We are thrilled that the produce from The Kitchen Garden at Australian Garden Show Sydney will go to good use thanks to OzHarvest, and look forward to working with the volunteers from OzHarvest at the event. For more information about OzHarvest, click here.


Sammy & Bella to Dish Up Daily Cooking Demonstrations

Sisters Sammy and Bella, of Channel 7s My Kitchen Rules, will dish up daily cooking demonstrations in the Lindeman’s Open Garden.

There are very few home cooks that can claim to have impressed and blown the minds of several world renowned chefs. For Sydney sisters Sammy and Bella that is exactly what they did when they won Channel Seven’s hit show My Kitchen Rules. Cooking is definitely in their blood; growing up in the beachside suburbs of Sydney, the girls trace their roots back to their Polish heritage through food.

Sammy and Bella will free cooking demonstrations five times daily at the Lindeman’s Open Garden. For the times of the cooking demonstrations, please visit here.

Lindeman’s will shine at the Australian Garden Show, with the appearance of international award-winning gardening and culinary oasis, the Lindeman’s Open Garden, complete with cooking demonstrations, gardening activities and tastings of Lindeman’s Early Harvest range.

Visitors will also be able to sample the popular Lindeman’s Early Harvest range, which is ideal for spring and summer entertaining. Featuring 11 different wines that are 25 per cent lighter in alcohol and calories*, the Lindeman’s Early Harvest range embraces lighter living and has a wine to suit everyone.

A favourite at Lindeman’s Open Garden’s is the hanging basket display where visitors can create a customised basket from a huge array of flowers and herbs, leave them to adorn our six-metre hanging basket tree before taking them away to enjoy at home.

The Lindeman’s Open Garden will be open at the Australian Garden Show Sydney from 10am – 7pm. For more information on the Lindeman’s Early Harvest range, please visit




The Hortiman Joins us for Sharpen Your Garden Talks at AGSS


Matthew Carroll (centre), aka Hortiman

Matthew Carroll, aka the Hortiman and Young Australian Horticulturist of the Year 2012, will join us for a series of talks to help visitors recreate the Australian Garden Show inspiration in their own home.

In his daily talks, ‘Implementing Australian Garden Show’s Inspirations at Your Place’, Matthew will take the best from the Australian Garden Show and explain how you too you can implement elements at your place. Each day he will look at trends from the edible to the incredible, such as vertical gardens, creative containers, productive patches, as well as beautiful plants to inspire you to get outside and improve your plant/life balance.

Hortiman is all about bringing gardening media into the 21st Century, where it belongs. Matthew is on a mission to bring gardening to the new generation, and Hortiman is a modern gardening guide to show you how you can make yourself happier and healthier with plants.

Matthew’s talks will feature daily at the Sharpen Your Garden talks marquee, on Thursday at 3.30pm, Friday at 5pm, Saturday at 1.15pm and Sunday at 11am, and are free with your daily entry ticket. Keep up to date with Hortiman on Facebook.



Grow Food Not Lawns!

Grow food not lawns! That’s the attitude of Indira Naidoo, expert balcony gardener and curator of The Kitchen Garden.

The Kitchen Garden is a 1000 square metre, fully sustainable edible garden, based on the popular grow-your-own movement. It will demonstrate the full life cycle of gardening, from growing, to eating, to composting the waste back into your garden. Featuring chook runs, pedal powered sprinklers, aquaponics tanks, casual talks on sustainability, and an edible native garden, The Kitchen Garden will be fun, tactile and visually delightful. Kids will love the strawberry potting area and merry-go-round, too.

Indira Naidoo’s friends and family literally thought she had gone potty when she announced her plans to grow vegetables on her tiny balcony in inner city Potts Point. To everyone’s amazement (including her own) she managed to grow 70 kilograms of produce in the first year. The site map shows the plans for this delightful garden, which will bloom at the Australian Garden Show Sydney from 5 – 8 September.

Indira’s philosophy to inner city gardening is simple: no space is too small and no gardener is too inexperienced. Get inspired and learn how at The Kitchen Garden, proudly supported by The LifeStyle Channel.


Top HMA Australia Personalities Confirmed for AGSS Next Month

The Australian Garden Show Sydney is thrilled to have the support of HMA, the Horticultural Media Association of Australia. 

Several of the HMA’s most respected media personalities have confirmed their involvement, with many taking part in the free talks series.

Angus Stewart, HMA President and one of Australia’s most popular gardening experts, will talk daily at the Sharpen Your Gardens Talks from 5 – 8 September. Catherine Stewart, of Garden Drum, will be joined by top Australian horticulturalist and media personality, Helen Young, on Friday 6 September at the Sharpen Your Garden Talks. Also presenting in the Sharpen Your Garden Talks is HMA personality Steve Falcioni, while Adam Woodhams will deliver talks in the Sustainability Talks on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 September. Popular horticultural media personality, Phil Dudman, will also host daily Garden to Kitchen cooking demonstrations in the Lindeman’s Open Garden, joined by chef Julie Ray.

We are thrilled to have the support of HMA Australia and their members, and look forward to working with them on the inaugural Australian Garden Show Sydney next month.