Brisbane’s Friends set to Flourish at Ekka 2017

by Jo Roberts

Yippee! At last – there’s a renewed focus on ornamental Horticulture at the Ekka, rivalling the excitement I remember well from years ago. Horticulture has great new exposure at the Old Museum, to be enlivened by visits from ABC’s Costa with his enormous personality effervescing everywhere (not to mention his devoted media). And there’s improved access ensuring visitor numbers will be well up. Ekka 2017 will be good for Horticulture. This is wonderful news for the Friends! We’re aiming to attract people both to visit and love our Gardens and to join FBBGSA. There are also Horticulture competitions to enter (see below), talks to enjoy across the 11 days of the Show and the Friends’ display to support in whatever way you can.

We have an excellent position in the Old Museum and have a roster of Friends attending our stand throughout the Ekka. We want to create a buzz of enthusiasm around our stand so PLEASE visit for a chat and PLEASE if possible do a stint on the stand. It’s all fun! Maybe we can we aim to entrap Costa for as long as possible for photo opportunities and the exposure he creates! Encourage him to join!

Our display will showcase Natives and Kitchen garden plants, linked together with Bush Tucker plants and some of the animals that call the Gardens home. Here’s where we’re at: Friends are already potting up kitchen garden species, Rob Percy of Aspley Nursery has generously offered to lend advanced sized native/other plants, and Queensland Museum is lending animal specimens of the sort Gardens visitors encounter. Our display will be quite different from those of the neighbouring Garden Clubs – we really can’t compete with them for sheer floral “eye-candy” – but we can be attention-getting, informative, a bit surprising and very welcoming.

Can you help with any of the following?

  •  Do you have any potted unusual local native plants? Plants which are “Bush Tucker”? The Samford N.P.Q group will lend us a few specimens but we’ll need as many examples as possible. (See list of suggestions)
  •  Can you please check Julie’s roster and consider doing a stint on the display? Otherwise please just visit the stand and help generate a real buzz of interest and good cheer.

Can you contribute to the 2017 horticulture buzz by entering Ekka Horticulture competitions?

  •  potted plant competition [still open! Closes 4th August]
  •  temporary verge display garden – 3m x 1.5m – around the Old Museum [closed 30th June]

These competitions are sponsored by the Nursery & Garden Industry Association Queensland and Rocky Point Mulching. There are prizes! 


  •  Check with Julie Lumsdale to put yourself on the Friends’ Ekka roster (free entry to Ekka!!!)
  •  Go to the Ekka website to check out competition details:
  •  Check your potted plants or garden specimens for Native/Bush Tucker examples – a few suggested species are appended.


We’re looking forward to a productive and thoroughly enjoyable Ekka. If you can help please phone Julie Lumsdale on 0455 512 302 or email her

Hope to see you there.

Cheers, Jo Roberts