Morrinsville Floral Festival

Popped over to Morrinsville last Saturday to visit the Unforgettable Floral Festival that comprised a large display by floral art groups and individuals from Waikato and Bay of Plenty, plus admission to three local gardens.

Floral art is generally a nightmare to photograph with any justice. However, although the events centre is set up for sport – basketball hoops and electronic timing boards on the walls and the floor marked for various sports – the lighting wasn’t too bad, a pretty good bonus in my book.

The town, sitting in the heart of prime dairying country, celebrates its bovine backbone with a street art exhibition called Herd of Cows. Wasn’t sure about the first cow I came across though – sitting up above the road and with a machine gun on its back! The Vege Grower rightly worked out that it was outside the RSA but the only message I got was: Welcome to Morrinsville … look out!

Fortunately, the cows at the entry to the floral festival were much more benign, made of corrugated iron and ‘chatting’ across a fence.

Members of the local floral art club had worked hard with four groups presenting exhibits, as well displays by clubs from Te Awamutu, Motumaoho (near Morrinsville), Hamilton, Katikati/Waihi, Tauranga, Matamata and Thames.

Little Red Riding Hood from ‘Once Upon a Time’ by Katikati and Waihi Floral Art clubs. Peeking out from under her cape is a miniature scene of a forest home, garden, cow (naturally) and Little Red Riding Hood! Photo: Sandra Simpson

The combined groups mounted a large display – here’s Sleeping Beauty. Photo: Sandra Simpson

It was shame to see flowers on various stands that hadn’t lasted the distance – 4 days on show and one or two more as the pieces were made up. Lilies and roses seemed to be the worst culprits although I spotted some pretty manky looking orchids too (and avoided photographing them). Such a shame for both the floral artists and the paying public, although the use of artificial flowers didn’t feel quite right either.

From the front: ‘A Penny for your Thoughts’ by Matamata Floral Art Group. Photo: Sandra Simpson

And its reverse which uses astelia leaves (I think) to good effect. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Peacock feathers were also used – this time on a peacock – for Monkey Business, a stand-out display by one of the Morrinsville groups.

One of two peacocks featured in ‘Monkey Business’, a Thai-themed exhibit. Photo: Sandra Simpson

I want one! This gorgeous elephant has a wooden frame covered in wire netting which was then covered in papier mache. Her toes are lotus pods and her tusks loofahs. How do I know she’s a she? Because she had a baby nearby. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Fun with flowers in ‘Backyard Memories’ by a Morrinsville group.   The skirt and bra both use hydrangea petals. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Let’s finish with a flourish, shall we?

‘Cats’ by the Te Awamutu Floral Art Club brought back fond memories of seeing this show – twice – in London during its 21-year run. Photo: Sandra Simpson

To find a floral art group near you in New Zealand, go here.

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