The native blue banded bee.
The native blue banded bee. Contributed

Gympie gardening event on this weekend

EACH year, the Gympie Garden Expo has something for every garden enthusiast.

Long term volunteer Henry Kross, from the Gympie Horticultural Society, said every year everyone got stuck into presenting a quality expo.

"Everyone pitches in - from big plant displays to orchid displays - the volunteers set it all up and pull it all down when it's finished. It's very much a team effort,” Mr Kross said.

Volunteers from both the Gympie Horticultural Society and from the Gympie Orchid Society share the load to make the event a success.

The Gympie Garden Expo is on this weekend with market stalls and fantastic plant displays.

At this year's expo, patrons can expect big things and visitors are encouraged to arrange their home garden tours around the expo guest speakers.

A mix of inspiration home gardens will be open to the public at Chatsworth, Curra and Southside as part of the expo.

Previous winner of the garden awards, Joyce Shanks opens up her new garden at 11 Glastonbury Rd, Southside.

Beautiful pottery is a feature in Jim and Ruth Subramanian's garden at 189 Rammutt Road, Chatsworth.

Cooloola Potters will also have their work available for sale at this open garden.

Lee Hodgson of 90 Lynne Road, Curra has worked miracles with her property, boasting a colourful surround of natives and exotics established over 18 years of hard work.

The gardens are open to the public on Saturday from 10am-2pm and Sunday from 10-12pm.

The Garden Expo itself will also be ablaze with colour and excitement with more than 100 exhibitors coming on board to showcase their wares in the main Pavilion and the adjoining pavilions.

Also on board are a plethora of guest speakers and demonstrators, all ready to share their valuable knowledge with expo visitors.

On Saturday sub-tropical garden guru Paul Plant will conduct a talk called The simplicity of growing sub tropical edible plants at 9.30am, followed by celebrity chef Matt Golinkski's talk on simple ways to cook seasonal produce at 10.30am.

Between them, you'll learn how to grow sub-tropical edible plants and how best to prepare them.

Paul will also conduct a talk at 1pm Saturday on how to find a good buy when plant shopping, to help gardeners to get the best results from their purchases.

On Sunday, get a starter course on bush foods with expert Zela Bissett at 10.30am and 12.30pm.

She'll be getting resourceful and seasonal with indigenous food and says not only are they better suited to our climate, these bush foods can be easily grown in our home gardens and offer an alternative for many recipes.

Also onsite, other workshops will share specialist knowledge on bonsai and fancy foliage plants.

Plus Dr Tobias Smith will delve into the world of the humble bee.

A bee researcher, educator and stingless bee keeper, Dr Smith says there are more than 1650 known bee species in Australia, and based on the rate of new discovery, the estimated true number may be between 2000 and 2500.

Dr Smith said stingless bees had become the rock stars of the bee world.

Native stingless bees make ideal additions to gardens and farms in subtropical and tropical Australia, and are increasingly sought after by farms and schools given their positive impacts on pollination, harmlessness and easy management.

"This will be a journey beyond the stingless bees and the bee-hotel-bubble, to introduce the full glory of the five bee families represented in Australia.

"I'll also give an overview of bee sociality, and show the diverse nesting strategies displayed by bee species around South East Queensland and beyond,” Dr Smith said.

This talk will be held on Sunday at 9.30am.

Dr Smith will also do a second talk, introducing the biology and management of native stingless bess and giving an overview of the industry at 11.30am.

The Gympie Garden Expo will be held at the Gympie Showgrounds on Saturday and Sunday and entry is $5 for adults and free for children.