Garden stalls to sparkle

One of the Laidley Spring Festival’s guest speakers will be Ipswich resident Claire Bickle, who has worked in the horticultural industry for more than 20 years. Picture: LVRC

Shopping for beautiful blooms, presentations by guest speakers, hands-on workshops, and fossicking for precious gemstones are just a few of the exciting activities planned for the new Garden Precinct at this year’s Laidley Spring Festival.

Held over two of the festival’s three days (September 6-7), families will be able to soak up the sunshine while browsing the precinct’s many market stalls and exhibitions in its new outdoor location at the Laidley Recreational Reserve.

The Garden Precinct was previously held at the Laidley Cultural Centre, however the Centre is out of action with structural damage from a severe thunderstorm that hit late last year.

Lockyer Valley Regional Council Mayor Tanya Milligan said the Spring Gardening Fair would be a one-stop-shop for avid gardeners.

“The Garden Precinct is one of the festival’s most popular events because it really encapsulates our beautiful region in the spring time,” Cr Milligan said.

Laidley Garden Club President Eileen Zahnow said she was excited to start planning the Spring Gardening Fair, with the Garden Precinct a must-see attraction for locals and visitors.

“I had a positive meeting with the council team and have seen how the site will be set up, which will be located near the Scout Den surrounded by lots of walking paths, making the site wheelchair friendly and accessible,” Mrs Zahnow said.

“There will be a big marquee set up, so you won’t be able to miss us.

“We will have more than 80 stallholders selling everything from flowers and plants to hand painted pots, metal garden ornaments, ceramics, mosaics and even bird baths.”

Mrs Zahnow has invited several guest speakers who will discuss a wide range of topics.

One of the guest speakers will be Ipswich resident Claire Bickle, who has worked in the horticultural industry for more than 20 years.

Claire has a Diploma in Horticulture and an Advanced Design Certificate in Permaculture Design, has taught horticulture at TAFE, delivered sustainable living seminars at libraries across South East Queensland, is an executive committee member of the Horticultural Media Association Qld, and has written articles for multiple publications including subTropical Gardening Magazine, Good Organic Gardening, and the ABC’s Chook Magazine specials.

Attendees will also get the chance to chat to members from the Gatton Lapidary Club, who will host their Spring Gem Show at the same time.

Gatton Lapidary Club secretary Leon Steinhardt said the Club would have its own area with trade stalls selling everything from handcrafted jewellery to gemstones, opals, crystals, agates, thunder eggs and more, as well as informative displays.

“The Gem Show is a good opportunity for people to come and learn more about fossicking and the many incredible specimens that are found right here in the Lockyer Valley,” he said.

If you find yourself getting hungry, there will also be food vans where you can order a coffee and a bite to eat.

There will be ample parking for buses and vehicles, with car parks available all within a short stroll from the Recreational Reserve.

There will also be a free shuttle bus that will run regularly between the main venues to assist you in seeing everything the festival has to offer.

The Laidley Spring Festival will be held on three big days from September 6-8, and is made possible with support from the Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Pohlmans Nursery, The Lockyer and Somerset Independent, and River 94.9.

Make sure to follow Laidley Spring Festival on Facebook and Instagram for more announcements. You can also log onto the festival website at