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Join the busloads of grannies this weekend and check out the 18th Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, which has taken over Carlton Gardens until Sunday 24 March.

I have a habit of regularly killing potted herbs (the extent of my gardening) and I enjoyed wondering around the beautiful displays and exhibits of Australia’s biggest flower and garden show. It’s an event that will appeal to lovers of architecture, design and art, even if you’re not into gardening.

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The Royal Exhibition Building has been transformed into the Great Hall of Flowers and inside you’ll find a small flower retail stall and a general showcase of beautiful floristry, from designer shop windows to flower arrangements to student-designed dining centrepieces and ‘living’ fashion by RMIT fashion students.

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HOT: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton



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HOT: Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

>My eye gravitated towards more modern, sculptural aesthetics rather than traditional posies, but I still appreciated the abundance of creativity.

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Once you get outside make your first stop the awesome Kids Under Cover 2013 Cubby House Challenge display.

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Then wander down the ‘Avenue of Achievable Gardens’ (achievable for whom? Not for me!) where my favourite display was called ‘Grey to Green’ as it looks like a better version of my own backyard and to my mind is quintessentially Melbourne – cobblestone laneway, bike, tram roll and Skipping Girl Vinegar.

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Check out the winning entries for the Landscape design competition, including gold medal winner Cube-Ism by Philip Withers, Semken Landscaping and Garden World.

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The rest of Carlton Gardens is mainly taken up with gardening-related retailers. Personally I avoided all the turf, mulch, tool and seed merchants but a couple of displays did catch my eye. One guaranteed way to stop foot traffic is to install a robotic dinosaur in your display!

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The entry fee is a bit pricey ($25) I think the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show is worth visiting (especially in this lovely weather) even if you’re not a green thumb. I didn’t participate in any activities or do any shopping and still managed to spend a couple of hours there.

Just don’t have lunch at the show – avoid the overpriced fast food and bad coffee, get a pass out and take refuge at Cantina della Casa or Sonido on nearby Gertrude Street.

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, Carlton Gardens & Royal Exhibition Building, 9 Nicholson St, Carlton

Wednesday 20th March to Sunday, 24th March 9-5pm

– Adults: $25.00
– Family (2 adults & 2 children): $55.00
– Concessions#: $19.00
– Child (6-16 years): $10.00
– Child (5 and under): Free entry

– Group (10 or more): $19.00 per person