Japanese Golden Sedum.
Blue Tears Sedum, Love and Tangles.
Mini Kitty, Sedum 'Little Missy', Crassula albomarginalis.
The Perth Garden Festival 2021 was held in May at Langley Park, along the foreshore in the Perth CBD.
We here at Fickle Prickles certainly saw some challenges over the past 2 years. With the 2020 festival canceled due to Covid, we were left with picking up the pieces of what was, no doubt, going to be an amazing festival. We were very fortunate for the advanced notice of the cancellation, which gave us time to call off a few things and reap back some of the associated costs. The same couldn't be said unfortunately for Melbourne's International Flower & Garden Show, which was canceled one week before it was due to start. So all in all, we were pretty grateful for small mercies, and felt for those exhibitors who were most likely half way through bumping in to their MFGS sites.
Then there was a couple of lock-downs in the months that followed, and again we were so incredibly fortunate that our little family business could continue to operate without too much major change to our processes. When 2020 was coming to a close, we had to make the tough decision of whether or not to pour our hearts and souls into PGF 2021. As you may guess, the planning and building of our site/display takes several months to put together, and we needed to make a start should we decide to go. With Western Australia's restrictions easing, and capacity limits for events increasing, we decided to take the plunge.
Fast forward to Monday, 26th April - The festival was starting in 3 days time and we were busy putting together our display on site. Then, some community transmission was reported and another city wide snap lock-down was called. Let's just say a few swear words were uttered that afternoon! As fortune would have it, however, the event organisers made the bold decision to not cancel the festival but merely delay it a week. As we were two-thirds bumped in at this stage, we were incredibly grateful for this news!
And what a great festival it was! As always, we just loved being able to speak to everyone in person, which is something we don't get to do very often running an online store. We had record numbers through the gates, we all wore our masks with pride, and all in all, we were incredibly happy with how everything turned out!
The theme for our display this year was SPELLBOUND! It included all things witches and wizards, monsters and cauldrons, spells and potions.
In our SPELLBOUND witches cave, we had an apothecary of potions, from Lizard Toenail Clippings to DNA of Unicorn. Some of the succulents planted among the potion shelves are Senecio herreanus (String of Beans), Graptoveria 'Margarete Reppin' and Jovibarba heuffelii 'Inferno'.
On the Witches alter was a grand spell-book, of which was open to the page 'Excessive Hair Growth'! The book was planted with Sempervivum tectorum greenii, Echeveria cv. 'Briar Rose' cristata, and trailing varieties such as Ceropegia woodii (Chain of Hearts) to the left and Rhipsalis baccifera running along the centre of the pages. Also on the table was a crystal ball - We placed a flowering Tillandsia inside (we must have done so after this picture was taken).
We jokingly started to call this piece 'Toto's Revenge', and the name stuck as we continued to work on it. Planted to the right of dog kennel is a large Aeonium 'Sunburst' and Echeveria cante.
What would a witches cave be without a dungeon and MONSTERS! Above you can see the dungeon door we created, with an Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire' and a large Echeveria planted at the base. The other side of the door served as 'Broom parking', with a chair planted out with cacti, an Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus) prominently in the front corner. The sign on the chair reads 'Complaints Department, please take a seat'.
The monster chest below was planted with a feature Echeveria runyunii 'Topsy Turvy' in the centre, along with Kalanchoe humilis and Cotyledon pendens off the side.
The cauldron was the central feature of the display, and was actually the piece that influenced us to pick the theme SPELLBOUND nearly two years ago. It initially started as a plain terracotta pot that looked 'cauldron-esque'. With some paint effects and 'chunky bits' glued on, it started to look like the real thing. We gave it some handles made from rope, and some flouro green drip lines. We really wanted the cauldron to bubble, and with some research, we settled on using a water-pond 'mister'. As well as vapourising the water into mist, it also glowed several colours, giving the cauldron a bubbling effect we were both really pleased with.
Planted in the cauldron were several groundcover and trailing varieties, such as Senecio rowleyansis (String of Pearls), Sedum spurium 'Purpureum', Orostachys iwarenge var. boehmeri (Chinese Dunce Cap) and Senecio radicans glauca hanging down from the front. The 'fire' underneath was planted out with the red colourings of Crassula erosula 'Campfire'.
We would really like to thank our supporting staff for working with us during these difficult times, and for re-arranging their schedules at the last minute. A huge shout out as well to our loving families for helping us put this site and display together and for putting up with our ever increasing stress levels throughout the process. Finally, we would really like to thank all of you who came along and wore your masks without complaint - It just shows that with a little hard work, and a little co-operation, anything is possible!