Thursday, February 1, 2007

Australia's Largest Flower Show

Australia's Largest Flower Show by Kerry Plowright

Wednesday 28th March, Sunday 1st April, 2007

Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens Melbourne Australia. The world renowned Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is entering its 12th year and is now regarded as the largest and most successful horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, rated amongst the top five flower and garden shows in the world.

Francine Rizza, of online Melbourne Florist says this prestigious flower show provides a great opportunity for a florist to showcase their skill's. Francine has exhibited her talent as a leading florist at the show and has won numerous awards for her skill as a fresh flower artist.

Francine continues; I was first selected about 8 years ago to exhibit in the Melbourne International flower show. The National Flower Centre Melbourne ran a competition to which they invited florists to submit an outline of a fresh flower display they wished to exhibit. My plan was a winner. Each florist was then given a $6,000.00 sponsorship to use to build their display. The florists were excited by this prospect and were then expected to order all flowers required as well as props. The florists created amazing flower displays. It was a real chance for the florist to really showcase their skill as a florist in a very large display and venue.

My display was featuring fairies in a beautiful woodland filled with pastel flowers. Even the fairies were adorned with costumes of flowers and moss! The male fairy was dressed in guilded leaves and was dressed in a costume of fresh bush moss. He carried a wand made from an agapanthus flower head. I hired huge urns and filled them with many different types of flowers including lizianthus, delphinium, roses, Lillies and purple and lilac carnations. All of my family as well as friend, butler trainer Josephine Ive were involved in the mammoth floral creation. I'm quite sure I must have been the only Australian florist with her own International butler!

Our flower display was a real "Show Stopper"! It was difficult for the crowd to advance.

At that time our florist studio was located in Kew, Melbourne Victoria. It was called 'In Vogue Flowers'. Not only were we delighted, our customers were very excited too. I had by now gained a lot of respect from them as a skilled florist. This was a great advancement for my career as a florist and we were now being described as a leading Melbourne florist!

The following year I was once again invited, this time by management of the flower show to participate. They offered me a huge floor space of 44sq metres on the main floor, amongst all the large fresh flower growers and wholesale florists. It took me 3 days to pick myself up off the floor and tell friends and family the good news. I just couldn't believe I had been asked. I was the only retail florist in Melbourne and Australia to be given this honour. My career as a leading Melbourne florist had really begun.

This time we were given a guideline, the theme the florist had to abide by was titled "Reflections". We were instructed not to think of mirrors or water reflections, but other meanings of reflections. My great plan was blown apart and I had to come up with another idea.

Suddenly it came to me! I would create a flower display using 2 huge 8 x 12 ft [2.4 x 3.6 metres], guilt frames back to back in the centre which would represent a mirror. I then hired 2 identical mannequins and had one made up with harsh make-up, black cropped hair and long black eye lashes. I dressed her in a black sequinned dress and high heeled shoes. The other lady I dressed as a lady from the 1900's. Her make-up was soft and pastel, her hair was jet black and was placed up in an elaborate style. I hired her costume from "Malcolm's Costume Hire", Collingwood. It was an elaborate, richly coloured gown from the opera "Don Giovanni". I place them either side of the mirror reflecting their image. They were twins, born 100 years apart looking at one another with fascination.

Now for the flower display, I hired huge Grecian terracotta pots, some standing as high as 5ft, [167.6 centimetres]. The pots varied both in size and shape. All had a matching partner and were placed to reflect one another. On the modern side of the flower display they were filled with brightly coloured flowers such as gerbera, heliconia and lilliums. The display on the opposite side representing the 1900's was all in pastel, white, cream and lemon flowers. It was real class! I hired 2 beautiful mahogany arm chairs and requested the restorer upholster them both in florists foam so they could be elaborately decorated in flowers. They were displayed in a reflective manner. The deception was complete!

I really knew I had achieved, when I overheard 2 ladies having a conversation, One remarked to the other; "Oh my god, it isn't a mirror"! She had been adequately deceived!

For me as a florist, having been asked to participate in the Melbourne Flower Show has been a highlight in my career for which I shall be forever proud and grateful.

Staged, within the world heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and surrounding south Carlton Gardens, the Melbourne International Flower Show is well established and features the best landscape and florist talent that Australia has to offer along side an extensive array of garden retail products.

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is a celebration of Australian lifestyle and our great outdoors. Along with residents and visitors to Melbourne, florists can be inspired by the vast range of fresh flower displays and learn about the care of flowers direct from the fresh flower experts and the flower growers.

A few facts about the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show:

The Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) is renowned for attracting record visitor crowds many from around the world. It is an established national "Hallmark Event" with a very successful nine year history. MIFGS holds the reputation of being the biggest and best annual flower and garden show in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Show attracts quality and leading edge florist and landscape designers. The venue, the Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, is unique and second to none in its ambiance, which sets the event apart from anything else in the country.

The event has the support and participation of key industry bodies including NGIV, Flowers Victoria, the LIAV and AILA, plus active participation from leading Horticultural colleges and universities throughout Victoria and Australia.

The Melbourne
shop offers a diverse range of stunning fresh flowers
to the Melbourne area including interflora.

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