Wednesday 21 August 2019

JHB International Flower Show collaboration with The Garden Girl

The new Johannesburg International Flower Show (30 Oct - 3 Nov 2019 at Waterfall City) has been on my radar for a few weeks after a YOLO Compost Tumbler customer, whose company is involved with the event, contacted me saying that it would be a great to exhibit YOLO (she loves hers).

After five days of exhibiting at Decorex two weeks ago, things have moved along very speedily and I'm really excited about the direction that things are going.

Last year I met 'The Garden Girl', a Joburg-based landscaper, when my pink-and-grey YOLO Compost Tumblers caught her attention. Her company colours are pink and grey. Danielle (aka 'Dan') does a lot of residential work and my compost tumblers fit in perfectly - she has installed a couple of tumblers for her clients. From the get go, we connected.

I follow Dan's 'The Garden Girl' Facebook page and just love her before-and-after photographs. What I appreciate most is how she uses clean lines, simple upgrades, existing materials and clever use of practical plants and flowers to create a garden that is pleasing - a space that can be used and enjoyed.

She recently assisted a client with a small project where the client sent Dan a photo or the space they wanted to improve, and Dan sent back a 3D rendering and instructions on what plants to use and how to create the improvement. I just loved it!

When I moved to Parys, I totally revamped my front 'garden' by creating a geometric pattern with 'quadrants' using gumpoles - there are two identical shapes on either side of the walkway. The big oak trees on the pavement creates dense shade throughout the summer and so plants don't do very well here. I'm not big into watering or maintenance, which doesn't help either. I've got existing plants and newly planted plants... all in all it is not what I envisaged and it looks scruffy when I wanted neat-and-tidy.

I emailed Dan before I went to Decorex to say, "I need your help please".

At Decorex, I met a lady from the Johannesburg International Flower Show (a different one to the lady that I'd been in contact with). Shelley had made a bee-line for our stand announcing, "You just have to have YOLO at the flower show!". She didn't yet know that I'd already had comms with the event; she specifically handles gardens and outdoors exhibits. Shelley suggested that I incorporate the compost tumblers into a garden display, which is something totally beyond my frame of reference. I got back from Decorex and called Dan.

The wheels turned quickly and the next day (last week only!) Dan met with Shelley to get the specs and rundown, during last week we whatsapp'd inspirational images to each other, and today Dan came through to Parys.

Hanging with Dan the Garden Girl.
Our theme is 'Kitchen Courtyard Garden' and Dan has really come up with lovely design for a garden that even I would be able to manage!

She will rope her mom and dad into creating some of the bits that we'll need; I'll rope in my mom, Celliers and our factory to create others. Dan has things and I have things that we will incorporate and then there will be other items that we will need to borrow and source for the show. She is definitely the brains and skills behind this design and the implementation. I'll be a good assistant.

Tickets for the show are already on sale. This show is destined to become an annual feature event - to be South Africa's own 'Chelsea Flower Show'. Considering how well South African landscapers, designers and gardeners have done abroad, we will be in for a treat on home soil. There will be gardens to see, plant, flower- and garden-related items to purchase, live music to listen to, and workshops to attend. The Johannesburg Flower Show website is

I have never been involved in anything like this before so it will be an exciting journey. We have two months to get the pieces together to create magic.

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