Drought bleeds annual garden comp dry

By Felicity Caldwell

IPSWICH people struggling to adapt their gardens to continuing drought conditions will receive some disappointing news today.

The Ipswich Garden Competition has been cancelled for the second year in a row.

The competition has been held since 1970 and about 70 people usually enter their gardens each year.

Former Ipswich Garden Competition judge and Larsen's Warm Climate Bulbs owner Kevin Larsen said the drought caused last year's cancellation and many people would be disappointed again this year.

"People do their gardens and they look forward to it (the competition)," Mr Larsen said.

Ipswich City Parks, Sport and Recreation Committee chairman David Morrison said the competition was cancelled despite negotiations for council to run it this year.

In previous years the Ipswich Beautification Council ran the competition.

"The long-standing drought has influenced a decision to hold off until a later date," Cr Morrison said.

He said he believed any future competition should promote drought-proof native flora and include categories such as Best Use of Local Native Plants in the Urban Environment for Native Habitat and Most Innovative Use of Local Native Landscaping in an Urban Development.

But Mr Larsen said "drought-tolerant plants" were not necessarily the best answer to drought conditions, considering recent heavy rain.

"There are a heck of a lot of native plants that don't like excessive water," he said.

"If we have what we just had 100mm of rain those plants aren't going to survive because they are not water-tolerant to that degree of water."



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