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Posts Tagged ‘Carnival of Flowers’

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The sun feels warmer on our backs and the days are spreading out. Its time now to get adventurous and enjoy the delights of the early summer. Toowoomba, one of Australia’s garden cities, is located west of Queensland’s capital city, Brisbane. A university and cathedral city, Toowoomba’s residents also enjoy its 150 spectacular parks and gardens. Situated high on the crest of the Great Dividing Mountain Range, with its cooler climate and rich volcanic soil, ‘Absolutely everything will grow here,’ say the locals. By way of celebrating their love of all things horticultural, a Carnival of Flowers is offered every year during September.

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   To savour the delights of this festival, our first stop includes the magnificent grounds of the Laurel Bank Park. Here an incredible free-growing meadow has been planted. Visitors wander amongst a cacophony of colour as they stroll through tulips, daisies, pansies, and an arbour festooned with lavender wisteria.

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   Our next stop at the Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery, leads to a room where landscape and botanical paintings from the gallery’s collection have been hung. Scattered among the pictures are stunnng sculptural works, created by members of the Toowoomba Ikebana Group. Decorated in the Japanese style, each piece showcases fresh flowers, leaves, and branches – all appearing in their individual beauty.

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   After a tasty lunch and a strong coffee, we decide to spend the rest of the day in the city’s heart. Here lies Queens Park, Toowooba’s premiere site. This key landmark is the focus for the 176th Carnival of Flowers, its Flower Market, the Food and Wine Festival and a Live Concert Series. Many activities are happening here.

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   We enter  the park through a lovely cherry blossom walk into the expanse of a typical 19th century Victorian park land and botanical garden. It has been styled as a parterre garden, presenting an arrangement of ornamental flower beds in various sizes, shapes, and colours. All are contained beneath a canopy of stately trees and between areas of expansive green lawns.

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   During the 2015 Carnival of Flowers, 100,000 visitors flocked to Toowoomba from far and wide. It was a delight to see so many with us again this year, absorbing the beauty and peaceful ambience of the park. Cameras and smart phones were snapping away in every pair of hands as the children roamed and played freely among the parterre beds. The weather had also been kind as the day was warm and sunny. We finally left the park on a botanical high, and next year we plan to do it all over again.

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Carnival of Flowers 3

For ten glorious days in October, the garden city of Toowoomba plays host to a Carnival of Flowers. Australia’s most populated inland city is nestled high in the woodlands, along the crest of the Great Dividing Mountain Range. Boasting more than 150 parks and gardens, Toowoomba enjoys four distinct seasons, rich deposits of volcanic soil, and an altitude suitable for growing an endless variety of trees and flowers.

Festival of Flowers

During the carnival, the city bursts into life with visitors from near and far as they enjoy the Grand Parade of floral floats, marching brass and pipe bands, and street performances. Everyone enters enthusiastically  into the various garden competitions. The carnival agenda always culminates with a visit to Queens Park, to enjoy and photograph breathtaking displays of floral designs, set out in a riot of shapes and colours.

Toowoomba Festival

A not-to-be-missed visit to Picnic Point and the University of Southern Queensland’s Japanese Garden will further enhance each visit. The carnival’s floral and garden design classes, the accompanying wine and locally grown food festival, superb restaurants and cafes, and concerts galore, all add to Toowoomba’s unique celebration of nature, in all her glory.

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