Sunday, 4 May 2014

A cold day out at Gardenfest.

Last weekend we had perfect Autumn weather and it was a pleasure to be outside enjoying the warm, sunny days but what a difference a week makes! The weather forecasters had been telling us for a number of days that there was going to be a change at the end of the week and they were right. On Friday the predicted storms moved in bringing much needed rain and they were followed by a cold front which arrived yesterday but IT brought with it windy, cold weather. Unfortunately the cold snap coincided with the annual Toowoomba Gardenfest and I felt sorry for the exhibitors having to spend three days outside in such unpleasant conditions.

However, seeing as we had planned on having a look at the plants at the garden show we decided to brave the wind and the cold for a short time so rugged ourselves up in jackets and a couple of layers of clothes and set off. 

As is the norm, there were a number of nurseries selling their plants. These were herbs from the Jackpot nursery in Toogalawah.  We bought another galangal plant from JA's Herb Nursery from Blackbutt. We were able to get advice about our Brahmi plant from the staff there as we had bought it from them at Gardenfest last year. They are always very helpful.

Alan from Watersaver Gardens was there demonstrating how his gardens work. In the photo you can see a cross-section of one of his watersaver gardens. We have one and our plants are growing well. 

I loved this sheep but it was too cold to stop and chat.

This photo is for Sue in WA as she loves bunnies. In our state of Queensland rabbits are banned and anyone who keeps one can incur a huge fine. 

Then I came across an exhibitor with an interesting composting product called a COMPOT. Here is how it works:

 Firstly you dig a hole in the garden. The green foam box represents the garden. 

Then put your COMPOT into the hole. Fill the COMPOT with organic matter you have been saving in the kitchen or elsewhere.

Put the lid on and twist it to lock it. You can either put the lid on this way...

...or this way which enables you to add more organic matter. Then cover the top of the lid with grass clippings and leave it to compost. You don't have to turn it at all and it can also be mowed over.

You can also buy a COMPOTTOP which can be used as a propagator on top of the COMPOT. There are some videos on the COMPOT website which explains how the system works if you would like to learn more about this system. It was certainly interesting to hear about it. 
By this time we had had enough of the wind so headed for the warmth of the car which was sitting in the sun. There was a collective sigh as we closed the doors and enjoyed the heat.  Gardenfest is well worth visiting but we were so pleased we weren't exhibitors and had to endure another day out in the open. Hopefully next year the weather will be kinder. 



  1. What fun! Too bad the weather was unkind but you still took in a lot, I am fascinated by the 'compot', that just looks very cool. Bunnies? - don't I remember something from history about rabbits being introduced in Australia and then becoming pests? Of course that is how we got our tumbleweeds as well! Best laid plans and all :)

  2. That looks like a beautiful day out! Thanks for sharing. I bet you had a nice hot chocolate (or tea?) afterwards to warm up again. I'm very interested in the watersaving garden, could you explain a bit more about it please?


    1. Frances, I am on the iPad and haven't leaned how to add a link in the comments yet :-) If you click on the link to the water saver gardens in the post that will take you to Alan's website. Otherwise just do a Google search for Watersaver gardens Toowoomba and his site will come up in the results.

    2. Thank you, Nanna Chel - that is really interesting!

  3. Nanna Chel,
    I think it would have been an alright day if the wind hadn't been about. I don't know how y'all walked around in it. Looks though like there was a lot of good things to see and learn that made up for the cold. Hope you had something hot to drink after. Thanks for sharing about the compot will have a squiz at the vids too.

  4. Sounds like a lovely day, we had Brahmi, for a season but it died off then doesn't seem to be coming back. I quite liked the taste.

  5. What a lovely day out, the highlight being that beaut bunny...I would love one like that for our little garden..we do have a cement duck lol
    How interesting too to see the cross-section of Alan's watersaver garden.
    I can't get my head around the idea that you were very cold there!
    Love from Sue


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