New Garden State Festival in Melbourne Celebrates Gardening as an Art Form

The Plant Society and Yarra City Council are partnering up this April to bring the first ever Garden State Festival to Melbourne, supported by the city of Yarra and the Victorian State Government’s COVIDsafe Activation fund.

From Friday the 29th April for three days, the festival invites you to be a part of a ‘gardener’s’ festival, unlike others. As an open-access community festival – the Victorian community is invited to participate, host and cultivate new ideas around gardening and will include both ticketed and non-ticketed events.

The Garden State Festival celebrates the intersection between plants, art, architecture, craft, design, food, ideas, music, performance – elevating what it means to be a modern gardener in this open-access community festival, cultivating new perspectives and ideas on plants.

Across three days, attendees are invited to take part in numerous diverse installations, activities, and spaces to explore. The festival is made for the whole community, with one of the highlights including a landscape designer leading a verge garden tour that explores the radical in reclaimed gardens, to a children’s workshop led by professionals giving young ones the opportunity to create ceramic pressings from natural found objects and a garden mural installation taking part across the Saturday and Sunday.

Jason Chongue, the Creative Director of the Garden State Festival says “This is a first for the gardening community. We strive to celebrate the modern gardener through a festival that celebrates the skill set gardeners have perfected over generations. It is time to show that gardening is its own artform. We may be an extension of our plants – however we are artists with a palette oozing with atmosphere.”

The event includes panel discussions on the Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May at Collingwood Yard, which will include industry friendlies like Atong Atem, Benja Harney, Dr Sandro Demaio, Jo Ferguson, Andrew Laidlaw, Jason Chongue, Jac Semmler, Louise Wright and the Huxleys.

Throughout the duration of the weekend, guests can venture through the festival and explore the following:

  • Installation by Hattie Molloy (at the Music Market)
  • Create Plant Pets or A Tabletop Garden with Beci Orpin
  • Milieu Speaker series with talks from John Raynor and Re Ground
  • Hands on succulents workshop run by Andrew Kepitis
  • Farm to plate dinner with Noah Crowcroft and local Victorian farmers

Visit the Garden State Festival website for more details and the full schedule.

The Garden State Festival is supported by the City of Yarra & the Victorian State Government’s COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Fund.

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