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Aussie Green Thumb – Top Gardening Tips For Everyday People

Garden Week Perth 2011 – Day 1

WA Landscape Design Association display

NOTE – This article is from the 2011 event. For details about the event in 2012, click here.

In my previous post I talked about Garden Week which starts today! I recommended the event in Perth, WA and thought I should actually head along myself. So, earlier this morning I went on down to Perry Lakes Reserve and had a look at all the wonderful exhibits that Garden Week has on display and I was very impressed indeed.

There was such a wide array of exhibits. From compost booths to different garden tool providers. From nurseries to gutter guard makers. What made the garden week show most interesting to me was just how wide the definition of gardening seemed to be. There were even some stalls that just left me thinking ‘and this refers to gardening…how?’ However, I think this just epitomises gardening today and that is that gardening is all about lifestyle. Gardening isn’t just the plants you grow but the space that you create with your garden and a lot of different elements go into making this space. Garden Week will inspire you with idea’s about lots of different area’s you could create.

Garden Guru Presentations
Another thing which really impressed me was the number of presentations I caught in the 2 hours I was there. It seemed everywhere I walked someone else was presenting on some area of gardening and they all seemed to be very high quality. The best I heard was a presentation by the Great Gardens Team who were discussing how you can know if a material will make a good mulch. Their main answer for this was that mulch material should be organic because that will also help improve the soil in the long run but it should also be up of big, coarse matter. Small, fine mulch will just leech into the soil and provide very little benefit. In fact small, fine material makes for good soil improver but not good top mulch.

They also discussed pea straw, a very common mulch, and suggested this is a bad idea. One of the main purposes of mulch is to keep water in the soil. The problem with pea straw is that it actually absorbs water, thus drawing water away from the soil. I had not heard this before (though I don’t generally use pea straw as a mulch) so it caught my attention. The Great Gardens team suggested pea straw is a good thing to mix in with your soil, like a soil improver, but not for use as a mulch. For more great tips on Great Gardens head along to Garden Week from 12 to 12.30pm each day and listen to them at the HMA Talking Gardens Stage.

Should you go?
If you live in Perth you might be asking yourself the question ‘should I go?’ You might see the door price of $18 and think ‘is it really worth that?’ Well, ultimately I would say yes, though I will admit to feeling like the cost was a bit steep when I first saw it. However, you can easily spend a few hours walking around the exhibits AND listening to some great gardening presentations, being inspired by the idea’s from some great gardeners and this alone is worth the $18 door entry. Some of these gardeners would charge $20 a session to hear from them. We would all love to be able to go places for much less than this, myself included, but I think the organisers of Garden Week have done well to provide more than enough quality to make the $18 price worth your while, whether you are an advanced green thumb or completely new to gardening. So if you are in or around Perth over the next few days, why not check it out! Visit the Garden Week Website for more details

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HMA Stage Saturday & Sunday program

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