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Blooming lovely – Bilpin’s long-running flower show set to blossom once more

Sep 21, 2022

It’s one of the longest running events of its type in NSW, and now the Bilpin Flower Show – first opened in 1961 – is back after twice having been pruned right back by the pandemic.

 

Two years ago marked the 60th anniversary of the event but it couldn’t be celebrated, so this year organisers are looking forward to an even bigger event.

 

Macquarie MP Susan Templeman helps Miranda Fair with her outfit at the Bilpin Flower Show in 2016…

 

Organisers Bilpin Garden Club are relieved and happy that in 2022 the significant anniversary event will finally be a reality.

 

“The flower show is the highlight of the Bilpin calendar,” says show co-ordinator Glenn Watson.

 

“It’s been running so long now that no-one here remembers when it wasn’t on in October.”

 

Each spring, hundreds of people travel from all over NSW to Bilpin for the sensory overload of walking into a hall filled with the colour and scent of hundreds of cool-country spring flowers and foliage.

 

Over 80 local growers submit around 700 individual entries across 50 classes, including orchids, rhododendrons, camellias, roses, azaleas, irises, waratahs, proteas, maples, cacti, other succulents, and many more.

 

Children are strongly encouraged to participate. The sections for up to nine years old and traditionally have a great presence, with most entries from the local Bilpin school.

 

The show is always impressive…

 

Entries are submitted the day before the show and meticulously documented and labelled and then judged to the standards of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW on the Saturday morning immediately before the show opens at 11am.

 

This careful, quiet process contrasts dramatically with the traditional end of the show at 4pm on the Sunday. Visitors hover with greedy eyes within reach of their favourite exhibits and, at a word from the show co-ordinator, they grab everything they can.

 

“You have to laugh, suddenly there’s a wild free-for-all,” says garden club president Airdrie Martin, “because everyone can take away prize-winning flowers for a very tiny price. But it does make packing up the show a lot easier!”

 

In 2015 the flower show was expanded to include a Spring Fair in the grounds of the Bilpin District Hall. Stalls offer plants for sale, horticultural advice, local arts and craft and delicious, fresh Blue Mountains food. There will be cafe refreshments and quality barista coffee.

 

Once again Miranda Fair will be gracing the Bilpin Flower Show, along with much appreciated volunteers…

The hall’s entrance lobby will feature a jaw-dropping floral display, arranged this year by locals Russell Fillmore and Paul Brambles. This stunning arrangement, covering the entire lobby wall, prompts more selfies than any other feature of the show.

 

Meeting and greeting again at the show on the Saturday will be drag artiste and singer Miranda Fair. Despite touting herself as a retail therapist from the Sutherland Shire, she has become a local Bilpin identity, adding sparkle to each flower show since 2014.

 

Live music has always been a feature of the Spring Fair, and this year local country musician Jed Zarb will sing and play his original blues-and-roots hits on the Saturday.

 

On Sunday morning a jazz quartet will perform 20th century musical Standards, while the Macquarie Towns Choir will conclude the afternoon.

 

This year the flower show will extend to the Kurrajong Heights Bowling Club, the area’s other community hub.

 

And the Hawkesbury Camera Club will be displaying entries in a floral photography competition with two categories – indoor (including studio) and outdoors. The competition will be judged on the Saturday morning by Miranda Fair.

 

The Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society will also be showing material tracing

the settler history of the area.

 

The club will make Devonshire tea refreshments available.

 

The Bilpin Flower Show and Spring Fair is at the Bilpin District Hall, 2596 Bells Line of Road, on Saturday October 8 from 11am to 4pm and Sunday from 10am until 3pm.

 

Adult entry $5, children enter free.

 

More information here:

 

Enquiries: Glenn Watson 0419 979 844

Email: bilpinflowershow@gmail.com

 
 
 
 
 
 

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