Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raised Garden Beds for MIFGS

This will be my last blog post before The Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. Next Friday I will be measuring out our display.  What are we doing?  Glad you asked.  2010 will be our 10th Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria Great Victorian Hanging Basket Competition.  This year we have something in the order of 230 baskets entered (depending on hail damage, I really hope you didn't get too much damage) and the Royal has applied to the Guinness Book of World Records to have the GVHBC recognized as the world's biggest Hanging Basket competition.  That's competition not biggest hanging basket, I think that record was set at 'Garden Week' back when I was at Burnley so that's a long time ago and has probably been bettered since.

Thanks to Liz Paterson for this pic from our display at MIFGS 2009
As the competition has grown we have had to accept a slightly less prominent role as a sponsor but the Royal and I are really grateful for the support that has come from Debco and this year our new basket supplier Gardman.  Our job is to collect and display the baskets.  We haven't changed the layout of our display for at least 7 years now but hey, if it ain't broke...  What this gives Scotsburn is a platform to display our plants as part of the overall decoration of the show site.  Of course now that we have 200 plus baskets to display the site is now one of the biggest at the show and I'm proud to say it is now represented as a named site on the official Melbourne International Flower and Garden show map (no not the google map, you have to open the pdf. I couldn't provide a direct link, don't know why).  So when you see the Great Victorian Hanging Basket display, site B56, that's us!  Please drop in and say hello, Lisa, Di and I will all be spending time at the display along with an army of volunteers from the Royal.

Now here's a sneak preview.

OK so these pics are from my mobile phone and you can't see much beyond a big box with Debco written on it but I promise up close and personal Deb has done a stunning job of planting them.  Now there are two reasons for preparing these boxes and their colleagues.  First is it will make dressing the show display easier on the day, so long as we don't bog the fork lift in the grass.  Second.... because Big Boxes (Raised Garden Beds) will be a new product line from Scotsburn.  "Big Arsed Boxes" according to one nameless member of staff, as much as I like it I don't think it will last as a brand name.   The Flower & Garden Show is our opportunity to put them out in front of the public and see what sort of reaction we get.

 So what do you think? I know you are a keen gardener so this type of "Do-it-for-me" product probably isn't your thing but I'd love your feed back. I expect these boxes to retail for $250.00-$300.00 I haven't finalized our costing yet. I'll do that once we have the Flower Show feedback in.  Will they need drip irrigation?  Would castor wheels be useful?  What cost do these add ons incur?

So I would obviously love your feed back.  So much indeed that I have 5 pairs of MIFGS tickets for the best thoughts and suggestions I receive regarding raised garden beds (BIG Arsed Boxes). Best? The best comment may well be not to do these at all, so please don't hold back.  I really want to know what you think. Please leave a comment below.  The tickets are sitting on my desk, so I will get 5 pairs delivered next week.

And while I'm thinking about show tickets, here's a blatant bribe.  The first 4 people to get 2 friends to subscribe to my Newsletter (follow this link) can have 3 MIFGS tickets each. One for you and one each for your friends. They have to sign up using the sign up form on our web site and I will ask them to confirm who recommended them.  The sign up form is clever... you can only use a given email address once so if you sign your cat up she has to have her own email address.
Hope to see you at the Flower Show.


  1. 13, 2010 at 12:06 AM

    Just to let you know that we make water reservoirs for Big Arsed Raised Beds complete with a solar powered irrigation system to water the beds.
    If you think this is a good idea, please contact me!
    Chris Beardall, WaterWand

  2. 13, 2010 at 12:15 AM

    P.S. The pump will water hanging baskets too!
    Chris Beardall, WaterWand

  3. cfrogwoman@yahoo.comMarch 14, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Big Arrrrrrssssseeeeddd planter boxes, good idea,
    but they look just like orchardist apple boxes, How on earth would one transport them?
    its a lot of money for wood that is likely to slowly rot away and you still need to spend lots of $ to fill them with quality soil/mix.
    This puts them out of reach for many, especially renters who benefit most (apart from those with medical/age related conditions who can not get to ground level) from such 'semi-transportable' gardens.
    I would love 2 or 3 such boxes for a vegetable patch as we need to continue some sort of crop rotation to keep freshness and diseases at bay, but as a renter I will never be able to afford such luxury...

  4. Chris, I'd love to know about your frogs. Yes they are apple boxes, lined (or will be) with "weed mat". Not sure how long they will last. They are a bit of a luxury but the cost is hidden in all the materials (soil, irrigation) as you noted and I have to allow for delivery!
    Thanks for the ideas.

  5. I'm another one who really likes the idea of a 'raised garden bed' for a vege garden, mainly because it's going to take forever to improve my soil, so having a contained space would be easier. Is it possible to make them in something lighter than wood? I don't mind the look of them, but I''m wondering because I'm not sure about transport costs on top of the purchase price. I think heavy duty castors would be excellent to make moving it about easier.

  6. Look at our blog and come and have a look at our display garden for amazing self watering pots we have transformed our old vegi patch since Decemeber 2009 and it is amazing

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