The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is a ten day festival held during the month of September each year, celebrating the Garden City and the start of Spring with a program of events and activities that attracts tens of thousands of visitors to the city. During this time Toowoomba is awash with a sea of colour, all of the parks and gardens have been primed and everything is in bloom. Local residents and keen gardeners have also been working hard preparing for the garden competitions that include a variety of categories such as Australian native plants, annual flowering bulbs and small gardens.
My friends and I, lovers of flowers and accomplished gardeners themselves (notice I say them, not me) made the trip up the range to Toowoomba to explore some of the private gardens open to visitors. Lunch was a picnic in one of the many parks with hundreds of other people doing the same thing, if you didn’t want to pack a picnic there were food trucks and coffee vans aplenty. Accompanying us on our garden tour was Wooloomooloo the bear, Wooloomooloo has his own facebook page: A Bear on a Journey, on which he shares his adventures as he explores the region with his family. Wooloomooloo happily posed for photos, for us and for a few tourists who seemed smitten by this handsome bear.
The private gardens we visited were a sight to behold, garden beds filled with too many varieties of flowers and plants to name, the creation of ‘rooms’ in each yard providing us with something new and different around each bend in the garden border. Bridges, bird feeders, fountains, arbours and pavers decorated with mosaics were among the features used by gardeners to distinguish one garden from another. Some of the gardens were so full of plants and features that navigating each section with all the other garden tourists became a bit tedious and difficult, almost everyone stopping to take photos with their cameras, smart phones and iPads.
With so many beautiful and vibrant flowers to photograph, you can imagine that I went a little nuts and now have a large collection of flower photographs to sort through, some of which you’ll see in this post. The Carnival isn’t just about flowers though, there is a food and wine fair, an afternoon parade, sideshow alley for lovers of carnival rides and if you enjoy picnics in the park with background music from live bands then you will be as happy as a pig in mud.