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There is no denying it, us Kiwis love our gardens. Maybe it’s something about the fact that most of the time, here in New Zealand, we are surrounded by beautiful scenery. Naturally, that can only mean that we would want our homes and gardens to echo such nature and beauty! With people staying in more these days, home has really become our haven.
And as much as Covid brought devastation, it also brought a lot of us back to hobbies we had long forgotten or neglected. And one of those hobbies, was the art of gardening. In fact, Selwyn’s very own Botanical Expo was born out of Covid!
In 2020, while Covid may have thwarted the New Zealand Alpine Plants Society’s plans to showcase their plants and flowers at a show at Lincoln Events Centre, they soon realised that together with the fellow invited members they could put on horticultural displays, workshops, and sales tables by themselves. This is what ultimately lead to the coming together and the creation of the Botanical Expo.
One of the driving forces behind this idea was that of Suzanne Pickford, current President of the New Zealand Alpine Garden Society. Her love of plants goes back 13 years ago where she remembers distinctly how her neighbour at the time used to grow mini bulbs and she was fascinated by them! Over time, Suzanne has watched specialist plant groups die out and she was determined that this would not be the case within her community. While looking for new partners to team up with, along with the Daffodil Society, they made sure that everyone who had an interest and specialty in dealing with plants would have a platform during the event. Suzanne highly credits the National Daffodil Society and the fantastic Canterbury Floral Art Group for playing an important role in bringing the Botanical Expo together. It is only by working together collaboratively, that this event has come about and taken pride of place within Selwyn.
The support for the Botanical Expo has been nothing short of overwhelming. Even with Covid restrictions, fantastic shows have been able to be put on while still complying with the Covid rules in place.
The Botanical Expo is an exciting and original event for plant enthusiasts everywhere! It involves several gardening groups coming together and working collaboratively to put on the event. Expected to be held at the Lincoln Events Centre in September (covid-permitting) visitors can expect a wide variety of stalls where they can get their hands on beautiful and unique plants that they won’t be able to find in the trade.
Hamish Brown, New Zealand Alpine Plants Society’s member and immediate past President, brings his own exciting collection of plants to the event with his wife Mika. Their fascinating knowledge and array of seedlings and plants can be found on the competition and display tables. What’s more, is that Hamish himself will be there for visitors to chat with about his plants and his intrepid plant hunting escapades himself and his wife often undergo!
The Botanical Expo has a stunning spring alpine plant display, with pots and cut blooms, bunting and birdsong. And there is plenty to do from the moment you visit, to the moment you leave. From floral art competitions that allows the winner to be selected as a national representative floral artist, demonstrations, workshops, lectures, and a chance to speak with the experts, time will fly by while you’re having so much fun!
There truly is no better way to grow your own skillset than to listen to the specialists and experts exchange tips and tricks and general advice about gardening. It is not an event to be missed by any means if you are passionate about plants and learning how to look after your garden.
And what is truly beautiful about this event, is that the Botanical Expo offers children too, a true chance to learn how to garden and fall in love with nature and their gardens. With potting workshops for Mum and Dad, there are also classes for the kids to learn how to germinate, propagate and successfully grow plants. A hobby the whole family will enjoy for years to come!
“Young and old, town and country it is the kind of event that appeals across the board.”
- One of the Botanical Expo’s Event Organisers
So, plant enthusiasts, or budding learners, this is an event to look forward to in the future, and an event that we are proud to hold right here in Selwyn.