Top Green Thumbs Unite For 2015 Queensland Garden Expo

How does your garden grow? If you fancy yourself a bit of a “green thumb” you can get expert advice when Australia’s largest sub-tropical garden event – the 2015 Queensland Garden Expo – returns to the Sunshine Coast next month.

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Staged at Nambour Showgrounds, from Friday, July 10 until Sunday, July 12 from 8am daily, the expo will showcase presenters such as renowned gardening experts Angus Stewart, Annette McFarlane, Claire Bickle, Jerry Coleby-Williams, Noel Burdette and Phil Dudman. And you can be out and proud with your enthusiasm for the three-day event, garden lovers, for it’s set to attract 35,000 people from across Australia and beyond, says spokesman Marion Beazley.

“We’ve been busily locking in our speaker program over the past few months and are pleased to say the expo is shaping up to be one of our biggest and best yet,” Ms Beazley says.

“A number of New Zealand garden enthusiasts have already taken advantage of the recently introduced Auckland to Sunshine Coast flights and purchased their tickets to this year’s event. It’s been really exciting to see the expo’s reputation growing internationally.”

Queensland Garden Expo, gardening, visit Queensland

And while last year’s 30th anniversary event will undoubtedly be a hard act to follow, Ms Beazley says participants at this year’s event can enjoy 300 exhibitors and more than 55 nurseries selling in excess of 40,000 plants.

“We’ll also have more than 100 lectures and demonstrations taking place, providing attendees with a wealth of information on everything from creating a thriving veggie garden and rearing chickens, right through to getting kids involved in the backyard fun and cooking with fresh herbs,” she says.

Some of the expo’s most popular areas and events would make making a comeback in 2015 include the Giant Organic Kitchen Garden and Living Backyard feature areas and some of Queensland’s most talented green thumbs battling it out in the hotly contested landscape garden competition.

“The landscape garden displays have become one of the most visited areas of the expo in recent years,” Ms Beazley says. “Last year’s competitors upped the ante by creating a cold-climate garden display in the Sunshine Coast’s sub-tropical weather, and recycling old shower heads as part of an inspired water landscape.”

“The competition really encourages landscapers to pull out all the stops and show off their creative flair and we find expo attendees always walk away feeling inspired and motivated to transform their own backyards.”

Queensland Garden Expo, gardening, visit Queensland

And younger generation green thumbs don’t miss out – with kids’ workshops and a children’s play area being set up in one area of the grounds.

Tickets are $18 adults and children under 15 are free with an accompanying adult. To purchase tickets, or find out more about the event and accommodation packages on offer, visit


June 16, 2015

South Yarra – Melbourne’s Not-So-Secret Playground

It’s no secret that Melbourne is the capital of style, culture and shopping in Australia. People travel from all over the world to visit this city, the designer labels, flagship stores, quirky independent boutiques and markets with our vintage chic provide bloggers a canvas of artful outfits of the day, photos and street style snaps to provide the fashionista with their tips for browsing the best shops.

Only four kilometres out of the CBD lies South Yarra, home to Chapel St and Toorak Road; two of Melbourne’s most famous and iconic shopping precincts. From chic designer boutiques, cafe culture and the natural beauty of the botanic gardens in the daytime to restaurants and nightclubs after dark, South Yarra is one of Melbourne’s most desirable suburbs to visit, reside in, play and explore. Here’s your insider guide to the gems that are South Yarra.

Chapel Street

South Yarra houses the more fashionable and upmarket end of Chapel Street with best of the best designer labels, Top shop, Kenzo, Eliza Baker and Nudie Jeans, quality international imports plus exclusive Australian designers. From the perfect T-shirt and cap collection at Blackbook to neutrals in flattering styles made from sustainable materials at Cylk, and the killer selection of party dresses at Green with Envy, there really is something here to suit every style of fashionista.

Take a well-earned break with a coffee from an on-trend sidewalk cafe like ‘Found off Chapel’ or linger over a gourmet meal in one of the many fine food restaurants that line Chapel Street. With one of the liveliest alfresco cultures in Melbourne, you’ll find plenty of spots to put your feet up and watch the passing parade.

The Jam Factory

Originally a brewery then a jam factory and now, several makeovers later, the lifestyle and entertainment hub of the Chapel Street precinct this complex is the place to go for food, fashion, film and special events.

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens are Melbourne’s inner-city oasis. Offering the perfect balance to the 24-hour hustle and bustle of Chapel Street, here you can soak up the peace of sweeping lawns, tranquil lakes and majestic trees.

South Yarra Art House

From high fashion to high art. This wonderful little gallery showcases fine artwork and painting by local and upcoming artists. Current exhibitions include Michael Witnauer, Tessa Dodds and Georgie Call.

Toorak Road

Be sure to check out Toorak Road, at least the kilometre from Punt Road to Rockley Gardens. This quintessential Melbourne hangout has a warm and friendly atmosphere. As well speciality shops, fashion boutiques, sunny street cafes and fine dining, luxury hair and beauty services, it’s the place to find outstanding jewellery, handmade designs, home wares, special gifts, unusual accessories and vintage fashion. Must sees are the dreamy fabrics of La Modiste, the exotic accessories at Jfahri and the covetable fashion finds of designer consignment boutique Secondo.

With so much to shop, and see, you’ll need more than one day to indulge in all that South Yarra has to offer. “We have a lot of people book into our apartments for one night thinking that that is all they will need and end up staying at least another three,” Diana, the general manager for Amity Apartment Hotel South Yarra explains. “It’s amazing to see the number of shopping bags that people come back with from a day in our streets, they are exhausted and happy.”

So whether it is shopping, art, nature or classy restaurants you enjoy, South Yarra has it all. If you love all four, you must stay at least a week in the Melbourne’s not-so-secret playground.

July 30, 2014