Wildflower Show History

The Wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges in Victoria have been on display in the park each spring for a long time and the area is well known by wildflower lovers.   A diversity of orchids and wildflowers is growing in the National Park and the surrounding countryside.  We have seen many changes through the drought years and bushfires in the park and the display each year can provide some surprises.

And of course these wildflowers have been showcased over many years at the Brisbane Ranges Wildflower Show held by the Friends of Brisbane Ranges in conjunction with Parks Victoria.  Plants on display at the show have been propagated or collected by volunteers,  from private property in the Brisbane Ranges area.

Attendance at the show has grown over the years and we look forward to more Wildflower Shows to come. Below is some history of this special event in this region.

The 2013 Wildflower Show

-  hundreds of BR wildflowers on display 

-  indigenous plants locally propagated and sold -  plus books, maps, etc

-  popular bus tours - booked out beforehand and great comments from participants

-  free workshops - identification of 'pea' plants and identification of terrestrial orchids 

-  photographic display of local wildflowers and more 

-  local school art displays from Anakie and Meredith Primary Schools

-  Anakie Primary School had good food and drinks at great prices for sale 

-  WaterWatch interactive display particularly loved by the children

-  a wonderful contribution by our volunteers again - thank you all!

Again we had a great attendance with people from near and far - some travelling from as far as Frankston, Eltham and down the coast,  as well as a high number of locals.

Weather in 2013 was not ideal however around 500 people attended the wildflower show.

In 2011 it was the first time we delivered a series of workshops and it was a great success. It provided another educational experience for the visitor with topics -Identifying Wattles, Macro Photography and Local Parks of the area.   The wildflower bus tours are always extremely popular.

In 2009 we had great weather and an increased number of attendees at the show.

Nearly all indicated they would be keen to attend the next Wildflower Show and to visit the National Park.  

How it all started -

  • Friends of Brisbane Ranges (FoBR) group was founded in October 1982
  • Each year a special FoBR wildflower walk was held about October.
  • About 1984 one of the Park Rangers used to see Merle and Clive Trigg in the park photographing and asked for copies of their orchid photos to put on a board to go in the Steiglitz Court House. (authors/photographers of Wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges book published in 2000 and still available). 
  • Subsequently another ranger asked FOBR to decorate the Court House as a contribution to “Back to Steiglitz 1986.”  Set up as wildflower show.
  • FOBR created a wildflower show in this professional manner in 1991, with art works as well, in the Church of England at Steiglitz (the building was empty at this time but had been propped and renovated)
  • In 1997, 1998 and 1999 Wildflower Shows and Art/Craft Shows were held in Catholic Church along with Back to Steiglitz celebrations.   This included afternoon walks.  Better equipment had been acquired from Blackburn Tree Group through Friends Judith and Lance Lewis. 
  • In 2001 we again combined with Back to Steiglitz for its Steiglitz Gold 150 years celebration  This was a weekend event and the wildflower show was held in the Catholic Church over the two days.  The event was a successful fund raiser for FoBR.
  • The 2002 Wildflower Show was also a weekend event held in November, in the Church of England at Steiglitz, as we were assisting the Victorian National Parks Association to celebrate its 50th birthday.    FoBR also celebrated its 20th birthday in October 2002. It was decided that the Catholic Church was not suitable for future shows as it was too far away from Back to Steiglitz celebrations.
  • The Brisbane Ranges Wildflower show was moved to the Parks Victoria Anakie Depot on Geelong-Ballan Rd for 11 September 2005 (see October 2005 newsletter)  80 people attended the day. It was later decided that the depot was far too small and that we should consider holding the next show at the Anakie Hall.
  • The 2006 Wildflower Show was held at the Anakie Hall for the first time with an official committee being established to assist with the organising of the event. About 200 people visited the display and 120 people took part in the wildflower tours. (November 2006
  • In 2007 the show was held at the Anakie Hall and again grew with over 300 people attending and 515 plants being sold.  The event offered 2 organised bus tours and a photographic exhibition of wildflowers of the Brisbane Ranges.  (November 2007 news).  We had organisational sponsorship this year too.  

That year the committee decided that the show should be organised every two years (biennial event) due to the large amount of work required to organise such a professional event by volunteers with the help of Parks Victoria staff.  

Note:  All specimens have been sourced from private property within the Brisbane Ranges area.