'It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional' ~ Robert Brault, writer.
There were cameras and photographers in all shapes and sizes at this year's Floriade and Nightfest. Literally every second person, (be they adult or child) was taking snapshots on their iPhone, iPad, pocket-sized point and shoot, or state of the art DLSR. And why not, with such visual splendour of flowers en masse. All one can say is, smile for the camera, please.
Precious in pink...
A medley of colour...
Shades of gold...
Cooking class with Julie Goodwin, Oxfam and the Yellow Van...
During the opening weekend of this year's event, Australia's first MasterChef, the delightful Julie Goodwin, who is an ambassador for Oxfam’s GROW campaign, presented a series of cooking demonstrations in collaboration with The Yellow Van food rescue service. The message of Oxfam's Grow Campaign is, as Julie explained, that 'there is enough food for everybody in the world, but not everybody gets it'... in other words it is not distributed to everyone. With this in mind, Julie pointed out that simply because vegetables in the home fridge are a little bruised, old or wilting, parts of them can still be used, rather than being thrown out and wasted. Julie also spoke about her chickens, which she described as 'really joyful little creatures' that 'gobble up' all the vegetable scraps and leftovers, hence very little is wasted and bountiful eggs are produced in return. Using primarily 'rescued' foods, Julie created a minestrone, roast pumpkin pie, corn fritters with onion jam, and a mushroom and leek slice for her cooking demonstrations. To the delight of the audience, there were tastings too! It was a pleasure for me to finally meet Julie, I have been a fan since the MasterChef series, one of my recipes appeared in Oxfam's latest Vegetarian Cookbook, and for some time Julie and I have corresponded via Twitter.
Out in the garden...
The Urban Agriculture Australia at Floriade caught my attention and I spoke with a gentleman who explained the process of growing plants such as strawberries in bales of straw or hay. From an urban agriculture point of view, he said, this kind of gardening is suitable for people who move into new suburbs where the soil isn't particularly good, and they can start growing in hay bales. To do so, first, water in a cupful of fertiliser such as Dynamic Lifter over a two day process, then repeat over two weeks. This is to ensure that the carbon/nitrogen ratio is balanced. Then it's a matter of 'sticking a trowel into the bale', making a gap and planting potted plants direct into the bale. As the bales break down, they generate heat so they can be covered with plastic over arches, which work as a mini glasshouse in winter. Interesting! permaculture display
Nightfest light show...
Commonwealth Park comes alive after dark for NightFest, a ticketed twilight event featuring spectacular colour and light shows, live music, comedy and DJs, as well as night markets and a variety of food stalls. Nightfest ran from 25-29 September this year and attracted huge crowds of visitors from Canberra and around the world. Actually, I think the event was sold out! Congratulations to the organisers of Floriade 2013. I think this year was a beauty, both visually and in terms of the line up of events and guest presenters. NB: If you have not yet been to visit Floriade, there's still time. It runs until 13 October 2013.
Tell me, dear readers, have you ever been to Australia's Floriade, or do you have a similar flower festival in your part of the world? And do you enjoy photographing flowers?
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.