Local Government Flower Garden Awards for 2006 launched

The 2006 Australian Local Government Flower Garden Awards will acknowledge the efforts of local parks and gardens teams. A national winner will be selected, as well as one winner from each State and Territory. First held in 2004, the awards are organised every two years by Bedding Plants Australia (BPA). BPA is the national association of seedling and flowering bloomer growers. It is well known for its national Flower of the Year, which has been released every year for 38 years. It is part of Nursery and Gardening Industry Australia.

BPA President, Peter Douglas, said this year the awards will be co-sponsored by Toro Australia. Toro is a world leader in the design and manufacture of automated irrigation systems and commercial turf maintenance equipment. Its irrigation division manufactures a wide range of products for commercial and residential use.

“With water being such a critical factor in gardening these days, it is great that we have been joined by Toro Australia to present the awards,” Peter Douglas said. “With controlled and effective watering systems, there is no reason why gardens cannot feature displays of flowering annuals.

Flower gardens make a huge difference in public spaces. Whether in parks, malls or streetscapes – they add colour, variety and a freshness unmatched by other plantings.” President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA), Councillor Paul Bell encouraged Councils to take part in the awards.

“Much time and effort goes into planning, planting and maintaining gardens for year round enjoyment or for special events,” he said. “The awards will be great recognition for these efforts.” In 2004 awards were for winter garden plantings only. However in 2006 entries will not close until the end of the year.

An independent judging panel will assess the entries. The panel includes well known gardening personality, Graham Ross, and leading Victorian garden designer, Carolyn Blackman. Entering gardens or plantings need to include at least a majority planting of flowering annuals and need to be ‘waterwise’. Entries must also be accompanied by a simple description and photographs. Registration closes on 1 July 2006, with the last day for entries December 31.

Winners will be announced in March 2007. Each State winner will receive a framed certificate, a plaque for display at the site of the winning garden and at least $1,000 worth of seedlings and irrigation products. The national winner will receive a further $2,000 of seedlings and irrigation products, as well as registration for a representative to attend the National Conference of Nursery and Gardening Industry Australia in 2007.

Full details can be viewed at the BPA website at www.beddingplants.com.au or a brochure can be obtained by contacting mail@beddingplants. com.au