Glen Innes' flower show had 440 entries despite a tough year of drought for gardeners

Organiser Elizabeth Biddle said she was blown away to receive 440 plants entered compared to around 300 in 2018.
Organiser Elizabeth Biddle said she was blown away to receive 440 plants entered compared to around 300 in 2018.

Glen Innes' famous annual flower show was this year marred by both theft and drought, but overcame both cankers to become one of the most successful years on record.

Organiser Elizabeth Biddle said she was expecting 2019 to be a small year for gardeners, with Glen Innes going to level four water restrictions the day of their annual flower show.

But she was blown away to receive as many entries as ever from Glen's green thumbs, with 440 plants entered compared to around 300 in 2018.

There was at least one plant in every advertised section, and 77 pot plants alone. The club put unusually great emphasis on drought-proof succulents this year.

Elizabeth Biddle said she felt like a million bucks to see new gardeners come out of the woodwork despite the record dry conditions.

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"There's some lovely entrants, as the judge said she'd like to give highly commended to everybody because they're all such good quality."

They actually ran out of small bottles the gardening club provides to display flowers.

"The judge was overwhelmed - she just said she couldn't believe it.

"And the quality. The quality is very good.

"The roses are a bit shorter than normal but they're some beautiful roses (nonetheless)."

Despite the garden club's good cheer, the Friday event was marred by a reprehensible act: the alleged theft of three raffle prizes from the show's venue at the Community Centre.

Ms Biddle said the theft took place on Friday afternoon a week before the competition, with three large flower prizes taken in broad daylight. She is convinced they would have taken two miscreants to carry.

She condemned the alleged crime, which has been reported to Glen Innes police, as a low life act: "Someone thought they needed them more than we did," she said.

The club purchased new prizes, but the money will come out of the money they'd normally donate to the Westpac helicopter.

But after Friday's successful event, she said the club would hold the event in 2020 no matter what.

"We'll have another one, even if it's still the drought, we'll have another one.

"People need something to come and look at and compare. They love it.

"The faces when everyone comes in and sees those flowers..."

Winners of the 2019 Glen Innes District Garden Club Show

  • Supreme Champion: Veronica McNamara.
  • Champion Rose: Veronica McNamara
  • Reserve: Doris McCarthy
  • Champion Cut Flower: Diana Tredrea
  • Reserve: Diana Tredrea
  • Champion Pot Plant: Edna Holder.
  • Reserve: Donna Doust.
  • Best Succulent: Donna Doust