The West

A celebration of all that blossoms in spring will kick off in the Great Southern at the weekend, showcasing the beauty of the region.

The annual Hidden Treasure's of the Great Southern Bloom Festival is expected to attract up to 4000 visitors to various events scheduled across the eight regional shires of Broomehill-Tambellup, Cranbrook, Gnowangerup, Jerramungup, Katanning, Kent, Kojonup and Woodanilling.

The five-week festival will feature 65 events ranging from wildflower walks and open gardens to long-table lunches, art displays and heritage tours.

The festival will have a focus on agriculture, celebrating the Year of the Farmer by promoting the work of some of the region's most innovative farming families.

Kojonup farmers Rob and Jen Egerton-Warburton, among the "Bloomin' Farmers" featured this year, will try a novel approach to pest control in their canola crop.

"We decided to plant everlastings around our canola crop as a natural means of pest control," Mr Egerton-Warburton said.

"Aphids are the main pests that get in - by planting the native wildflowers around the crop, we encourage native bugs and they in turn prey on the aphids."

The festival will run from Sunday to October 24.

The West Australian

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