Bring back the ‘Garden State’

By James Wall

Australian gardening personality Jane Edmanson, and award-winning landscape designer Jim Fogarty, this week both called on Victorians to reclaim Victoria’s title as ‘The Garden State’.

Victoria - Garden State

Victoria - Garden State

In 1977, reflective green text on white plates were introduced, beginning at AAA-000 and running to FZZ-999. These bore the insert Victoria – Garden State at the bottom of the plate. In late 1994, in an initiative by the then-Premier, Jeff Kennett, the plates were changed to blue text on white plates with ‘On the Move’ sprawled across the bottom. Nurserymen and women all over the state were outraged and insulted about this removal of recognition of our garden prowess. Queenslanders thought it must have meant ‘on the move’ to Queensland judging by how many of us were moving up there at the time.

Why should we be the Garden State once more ?

  • There are 32 Botanic gardens in State of Victoria
  • The Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne attracts over 1.5 million visitors a year, making it one of Victoria’s major tourist attractions.  It contains 26 plant collections, 50,000 individual plants and covers 36 hectares in the centre of Melbourne.
  • Other significant botanical gardens include The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne which spans over 363 hectares of land, and is home to the new “Australian Garden”, as well as regional gardens in Ballarat, Geelong, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Hamilton, Warrnambool
  • Victoria is also home to notable private gardens such as Dame Elisabeth Murdoch’s ‘Cruden Farm’, and the renowned gardens of the Dandenong and Macedon Ranges
  • Victoria has the most public parks and gardens within 5km of the CBD of any state, with a total of 124. 16 parks covering 480 hectares are located within the City of Melbourne alone.
  • City of Melbourne has 60,000 trees valued at $650 million amenity value
  • Victoria’s nursery and garden industry is the largest of any Australian state, with an estimated economic value $2.72 billion, and employing over 15,000 Victorians

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“Victoria is home to some of the most beautiful and historic gardens in the country, and there is no better time of year than Spring to remind us how important those gardens are to the character and identity of our State,” said Glenn Fenton, President of Nursery & Garden Industry Victoria.

We’re calling on the support of Victorians to reclaim this title, and return ‘The Garden State’ to the State identity,” Mr Fenton said.

“Victorians are avid gardeners and our demand for nursery products makes us the biggest producer of plants and trees in the country. We’re also a state of garden-lovers. We have more parks and gardens within five kilometers of our State capital than any state in Australia, and each year the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show attracts over 120,000 visitors, making it a significant tourist attraction,” Mr Fenton said.

As part of the campaign, Mr Fenton is urging people to show their support for ‘The Garden State’ by getting out and about in the garden to plant a tree, tend to their vegetable patch, or just enjoy the sunshine.

“Gardens and gardening are a major part of the Victorian experience, and we believe that Spring is the perfect time for people to be reminded of the natural beauty that surrounds them every day,” he said.


Help us out and win yourself $1000

Let’s Reclaim Victoria as the Garden State

Video / Picture Competition

Video Competition:

Produce a 30 second to one minute video suitable for on-line viewing promoting why we should Reclaim Victoria as the Garden State:

Winner: $1000 Runner Up: $500 Third place: $250

Photograph a famous Australian holding our Campaign slogan.

Winner: $500 Runner Up: $250

Entries close Friday October 12 th and should be emailed to sheryl@ngiv.com.a.

Once approved and deemed to have met competition rules, videos will be uploaded to the NGIV website and Facebook page.





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