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Floral carpets began in Maleny when Alan Lockwood, a member of the Maleny Horticultural Society, decided not to leave his beautiful display of dahlias to the mercy of an impending cyclone. The Autumn Floral Fair was just four days away and his blooms couldn’t wait. Instead he picked them all! Consulting with other members as to their use now picked, he spread them out on the floor. Gradually the idea of pushing the multi-coloured display into patterns and shapes developed —– and so was born the Annual Autumn Fair Floral Carpet.
Click a floral carpet to begin scrolling through all images.
Some interesting points about floral carpets (and in particular those made by the Maleny and District Horticultural Society)
- For the Maleny Floral Carpet displayed in 1957 to be described as equal to the best seen anywhere, is no small praise. The judge came from Brisbane and would have seen many (if not all?) of the floral carpets made where there were many more resources than in Maleny and in surrounding districts.
- All of the Maleny Garden Club members who were involved in the making of the carpets will tell us how much work there was and how much pleasure there was in working together. The flowers were laid on a base of pine needles which had to be collected in the days prior. The design had to be laid out full size. The amount of blooms required must have decimated some gardens of all their flowers!
- When we look at the photos the scale of the carpets becomes easier to understand, when, for example, a chair is approximately 70cm, then making the comparison, the carpet would have been around/at least 3m x 4m. Some minutes record the dimensions to be 20 x1 4 feet and larger.
- Mrs Peggy Burnett designed many of the carpets whilst Mrs Owen Thomas was granted Life Membership in 1970 for her work/design of floral carpets. Many members designed and worked on the floral carpets. In March 1963 the minutes recorded that approximately 60 man (woman?) hours went into the making of that one carpet. Older member recall the camaraderie that existed between the designers and their assistants.
- There is a reference to the size of the floral carpet from the meeting pf October 1991 suggesting that it was 20’ x 15’ (approx.. 6m x 4.5m) or, to put it in simple terms, approximately the size of a one and a half garage!
- It would seem that the bulk of the carpets (certainly the earlier ones) were made up of dahlias with the first made solely of dahlias.