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Excitement blooming

THIS year’s annual Leongatha Daffodil Festival is set to be the biggest yet as the Australian Daffodil Championship jumps on board.

The September festival hopes to attract growers and flower-lovers from far and wide in what will be the first collaboration between the festival and the championships.

Sue Thompson, president of the Leongatha Horticultural Society and secretary of the Victorian Daffodil Society says the addition of championships to the event will host never-before-seen flowers on showcase.

“The National Championships will display new seedlings from both amateur and professional growers. These are people who have created new varieties of daffodils through cross pollination,” Mrs Thompson said.

“It is exciting to see so many people working on different types of daffodils in what is a culmination of six to seven years of work.” Mrs Thompson said of the lengthy growth process of daffodils.

The festival hopes to attract growers from interstate, with Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales considered to the “serious” states for growing daffodils due to milder climates.

“Last year we had people come over from Tasmania. This year we have one man coming down from Canberra who grows a lot of daffodils as well as people coming across from Kyneton where there’s a large growing industry,” Mrs Thompson said, noting this is the first year the festival has done television advertising.

The whole town is getting behind the festival, with shop fronts competing window decorations in line with the theme “Daffodils of Spring.” The theme correlates with the launch of the Leongatha Horticultural Society website, which will advertise springtime horticultural events in South Gippsland, set to launch on August 12.

South Gippsland Shire Council Parks and Gardens are also working hard in the lead up to the festival.

Coordinator Steve Missen and his team of gardeners have been busy bees with the

While there has been a lot of talk about the daffodils blooming early in town Mrs Thompson said it is normal for some varieties of daffodils to bloom in July but she said many others are late bloomers.

“So we should being seeing some lovely varieties on show during the Daffodil Festival that is later this year due to the town hosting the Australian championship,” she said.

Mr Missen agreed and said while there are daffodils flowering already on the roundabout on the junction of McCartin and Peart streets people can expect to “see plenty flowering during the Daffodil Festival”.

“The daffodils flowering now are Daffodil magnifique varieties and later in spring King Alfred, Tete- a tete, Soleil dòr and some August Pink and Ice Follies will be blooming,” Mr Missen said.

“We have planted many daffodils around town some are early flowering like in the Top Roundabout but there are plenty that will flower during the Daffodil Festival.”

Along with the daffodils Mr Missen said they have planted loads of flowers around town, “in Bair Street Viola Lemon Frost , Primula Lollipops, with Gold and Scarlett Tulips, at the post office roundabout there are Purple Pansys ,White Primula Tulips pink and orange, opposite the courthouse, Blue Viola White Tulips and at the top roundabout , Mixed Pansy Daffodil Magnifique and Tulip Party Pink.”

“Most of the Tulips and flower displays will be at their best in September.”

Mr Missen said they haven’t had any meeting with the local horticultural group “but Parks and Gardens each year has the daffodil festival in mind when planning our displays.”

With entries open only two days before the festival it cannot be confirmed how many growers will be competing in the championships. However with the festival coinciding with the National Championships it is sure to be one of the biggest festivals since its inception 59 years ago.

Flowers for Leongatha: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council Parks and Gardens team, Jake Hoy and coordinator Steve Missen.

Flowers for Leongatha: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council Parks and Gardens team, Jake Hoy and coordinator Steve Missen.

 

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=15676

Posted by on Jul 28 2015. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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