Growing a fresh following at Toowoomba Show
AS THE newest stewards at Toowoomba Royal Show, Robert and Sue Janetzki are determined to see things germinate, grow, blossom and bear fruit. And it's not just because they have taken charge of the floriculture section.
The long-time gardening enthusiast husband and wife duo, who only became involved in the show three years ago, have witnessed its improvement in that time and want to see entry numbers, quality and appeal expand further.
"We asked the exhibitors how we could improve things and they gave us a lot of different ideas," Mrs Janetzki explained.
That has included changing the schedule and the display to encourage younger visitors to see what can be grown on the Downs, with a water feature, lights and a soundtrack of birds and nature, as well as creating a better defined junior competition section.
New display tables and sponsorship have been gained, sausages sizzled for funds, and Sue said they had already told show CEO Damon Phillips they will need more room next year.
They have about 40entrants this year across cut flowers, potted plants (including their absolute love, bromeliads), natives, proteas and roses, and are keen to double that number.
With many of the entrants like themselves in the over-60s category, Mr Janetzki said it was important to get the next generation interested in horticulture so that species didn't die out.
Mr Phillips said about 15,000 entries were expected across the show's 35 categories and, still focussing on horticulture, he was pleased to bring the ABC's Costa Georgiadis of Gardening Australia and Paul West of River Cottage fame back to this year's show.
Horse and beef cattle numbers, he said, were surprisingly well up again, despite Queensland's extremes of drought and flood conditions.
You will also find goats, show and working dogs, pigs, sheep, dairy cattle and poultry. While for those more interested in inside pursuits, there's cooking, handicraft, art, mapping, photography, home-grown produce, crops and bread.
Details and ticketing at toowoombashow.com.au/royal-show or phone (07) 46347400.