Tuesday 16 August 2011 by Dennis Stockman. No comments

Floriade (17 September – 16 October) is Australia’s celebration of Spring and Australia’s biggest flower show. This year the Australian War Memorial is creating a Second World War Victory Garden, reminiscent of those grown by Australian families in the Second World War.

In 1942 Prime Minister John Curtin launched the “Dig for Victory” campaign, which encouraged Australian householders to grow their own vegetables. Families across the country enthusiastically adopted the idea, making this campaign and other efforts part of the most ambitious home gardening program Australia has ever seen.

The Floriade Victory Garden will contain over 30 varieties of fruits and vegetables alongside a special commemorative planting of Lone Pine, poppies, and rosemary. The Garden is based around research by staff in the Memorial’s Research Centre.

Over 4000 plants are being grown from seed generously donated by the Australian garden supplier, Yates. A team of eight final year horticultural students from the Canberra Institute of Technology have been busy growing the Victory Garden which moves to the 2011 Floriade site next month.

Floriade Seedlings Floriade Seedlings

Throughout the Festival Memorial Research Centre staff will share stories of wartime gardens, kitchens and food production in a series of free public talks and tours both at Floriade, and at the Australian War Memorial. The Hyatt Hotel will also be at Floriade doing cooking demonstrations of wartime recipes with a contemporary twist.

The Victory Garden is a timely reminder of the gardening efforts of wartime families as a new generation of Australians is looking to be self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable.