I started the Kalamunda Garden Festival in spring, 2018 as a community initiative to bring people together. There are so many wonderful gardens in the City of Kalamunda and so many enthusiastic gardeners. Initially I thought the garden festival might only have been on interest to the local residents, but it seems I was rather naive indeed. It didn’t take long at all before people were coming from hours away to visit this little community event, and to know that people get excited about coming back each time is so heart-warming and it genuinely makes me so happy. We’re building a lovely community that’s growing bigger and bigger each time as news spreads across the metro and regional areas.
The Kalamunda Garden Festival is a labour of love for me. Each event takes about 150 hours of work to organise and stage. It’s a voluntary job that involves many nights working away into the early hours of the morning. I fund most of the events myself, which is tough, but hopefully one day, a sponsor will come onboard to assist.
Already, the Kalamunda Garden Festival has attracted the attention of industry leaders. At our summer festival alone we had Sabrina Hahn, Deryn Thorpe, Steve Wood and Neville Passmore join us. I was so happy to have an episode of my favourite podcast ‘All The Dirt’, recorded there too (that was brilliant). Plus, the amazing Costa has said he will be joining us (hopefully in 2019)! I’m so excited! We attract experts like Darren Seinor and Fiona Blackham, and local experts like Lisa Passmore and Bob Melville who can give specific advice about gardening in the Perth hills. I love having scientists such as Digby Growns from Kings Park and Professor Kingsley Dixon from Curtin University join us for they expose many of us to a whole new level of knowledge.
Music is an important element of the Kalamunda Garden Festival too and we’ve had a brilliant line-up of musicians already, including Courtney Murphy, Chris Murphy, The Wesley Goodlet Jamboree Scouts, The Mucky Duck Bush Band and the fantastic Courtney Murphy Duo featuring Courtney Murphy and Mike Hagerty Junior from the USA. If you like music, I’m also starting the Kalamunda Music Festival as another community initiative, which will take place on August 24th / 25th.
I’m always looking at new ways that I can expand the Kalamunda Garden Festival to offer more for those attending. I’m working with the Open Gardens network and I hope to have a number of local gardens open on the day of the garden festival and offer tours for the festival-goers. I would love to charter a bus and take people around to see some of the wonderful gardens within the City of Kalamunda.
If you haven’t been to the Kalamunda Garden Festival before, you’re very welcome indeed and I’d love to see you there. If you’ve been before, I want to thank you for your support. We’re a small event but we have a big heart and we just want to help bring the community together, spread a bit of kindness and celebrate gardening and our natural environment.