More than 40,000 people are expected to visit this year's Expo.
More than 40,000 people are expected to visit this year's Expo. Contributed

Queensland Garden Expo celebrates 35th birthday

THE 2019 Queensland Garden Expo has reached a milestone 35 years!

More than 40,000 gardeners and green thumbs are expected to walk through the Nambour Showgrounds, home to this award-winning, iconic event with a three-day program starting this Friday.

Sunshine Coast Council has supported the Expo as a sponsor for more than 15 years, including preparation in and around Nambour to welcome visitors, and ensuring the Nambour Showgrounds meets the event organisers' growing needs.

There is a record number of exhibitor sites this year, 373 in total, and it is the exhibitors that make a significant contribution to the economic impact of the event.

Many of these sites have at least two people staying on the Sunshine Coast for four or five days, with many coming from Victoria and New South Wales and more than 100 in total from outside of the Sunshine Coast Region.

Tourism, Sport and Major Events Portfolio Councillor Jason O'Pray said it was exciting to see local events grow into major events that bring so much economic and community benefit to the Coast.

"It is a great event for Nambour, creating a real buzz and vibrancy among local business, and community getting into the spirit of the event, Cr O'Pray said.

 

The Queensland Garden Expo has been attracting green thumbs for 35 years.
The Queensland Garden Expo has been attracting green thumbs for 35 years. Contributed

"Whether you want to spruce up the front garden with some colourful natives, or perhaps you want to create an edible garden with herbs, fruit and vegetable plants so you can eat what you grow - everything you need to know is at the Expo."

A fully planted sustainable Giant Kitchen Garden with permaculture and organic gardening experts on hand will encourage home gardeners to eat what you grow.

If you are more of a wildlife warrior, you might want to attract frogs, birds, butterflies, bees or other wildlife and emulate the council's Living Backyard display.

If you aren't sure what is growing in your garden, you can get free help at The Plant Clinic to identify plants and talk with some garden gurus.

Kids Garden Patch is a show favourite, and with free entry for children aged 15 and under there will be a large variety of activities scheduled across the three days of the show.

Speakers will include ABC gardening talkback presenter Annette McFarlane, who will be talking pruning and native plants; Gardening Australia presenter Jerry Coleby-Williams who will talk rainforest gardens and growing food in small spaces; and Tasmanian chef Paul West who will chat about the garden to table theme.

The 2019 Queensland Garden Expo will feature more than 120 free lectures and demonstrations and in excess of 360 exhibitors and displays. It will be held from 12-14 July at the Nambour Showgrounds, Coronation Ave, Nambour.

To find out more about the event, view the speaker program and purchase tickets online, please visit www.qldgardenexpo.com.au.

With support from the council's Major Events Sponsorship program, the Queensland Garden Expo provides a great snapshot of how major events impact the region's economy and share community benefits:

. Sunshine Coast Council has sponsored the QGE for 16 years

. The event has donated over $1.5m to local community groups that have assisted in the staging of the event and provided fundraising and promotional opportunities.

. QGE had delivered over $173m in direct economic benefit to the region

. QGE has invested $1.8m in promoting the region and attracting visitors from outside the region.