Gardening in the spotlight at Perth Garden Festival

Gardening has always been a timeless hobby but, these days, it's the younger generation who are discovering the joys of being green.

Celebrity green thumb Josh Byrne said there was something "addictive" about cultivating your own patch of soil.

"These days, young people are discovering the magic of gardening and just how good it is for their health and their soul," he said.

"Growing food at home is now more popular than ever and it is easy to see why. It tastes better, it's good for you and, if you are smart about it, you can save a lot of money."

Seeking to capture the imagination of a new generation of gardeners is next month's Perth Garden Festival.

Formerly known as Garden Week, the event has been running for more than four decades.

After 42 years, it is still a thriving outdoor garden show and the regulars look forward to the opportunity to amaze and inspire visitors each year, according to Esther Ngang, chief executive of the Nursery and Garden Industry WA.

"It is an event in which three generations or more can find different areas of interest, and if nothing else, it's an opportunity to enjoy food and music as an extended family while watching the buzz and activity around you," she said.

To be held at Perry Lakes Reserve in Floreat, the new-look festival is presented by National Lifestyle Villages and will showcase more than 80 exhibitors, as well as hosting some of Perth's most well-known industry specialists, who will present talks on topics such as WA's worst pests, vegie gardens for kids and urban green spaces.

Famous faces include Byrne, Sue McDougall, Steve Wood, Matthew Lunn, Habitat columnist Deryn Thorpe, lawn guru Nick Bell, Colin Barlow, and rose king Bob Melville. To view the seminar schedule, visit the festival website.

Event director Thomas Wagner said the festival was heavily invested in connecting the local community with industry experts, to encourage people to embrace green living and reconnect with nature in a fun and friendly environment.

Other highlights include the Garden Bar, Education Playground presented by the Water Corporation, Flower Market and live jazz music.

The Flower Market will be a highlight for those with a penchant for blooms, with up-and-coming floral designers selling handcrafted floral arrangements, fresh flowers, headpieces, bouquets and more. A Ready, Steady, Snip live floristry design competition will be held at 11am and 2pm each day.

The Perth Garden Festival is on from April 3-6 at Perry Lakes Reserve in Floreat. It's open from 9.30am-5pm on Thursday and Sunday and 9.30am-6pm on Friday and Saturday. Children under 12 can attend free on Thursday and Friday or for $10 at the weekend, concession is $15 and general admission $18. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

The West Australian

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