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Thousands enjoy the beautiful Thomas Walker Estate to encourage positive mental health and wellbeing

Rivendell Flower and Garden Show

September 2019

Thousands enjoy the beautiful Thomas Walker Estate to encourage positive mental health and wellbeing

Thousands enjoy the beautiful Thomas Walker Estate to encourage positive mental health and wellbeing

The Rivendell Flower and Garden Show 2019 saw the magnificent Thomas Walker Estate come alive with beautiful floral displays, a floral fashions catwalk, live music, market stalls, vintage cars and lots of fun for all ages.

Thousands of visitors enjoyed the physical and mental health benefits of gardening and getting outdoors in one of Sydney's most idyllic settings.

The two-day event raised money for Concord Hospital's Geriatric Unit and the Ageing and Alzheimer's Institute.

The celebrity flower arranging challenge was a drawcard. NSW Opposition Leader and Member for Strathfield Jodi McKay, Channel 7’s Sydney Weekender presenter Sally Stanton, Strathfield Councillor Karen Pensebene and Concord Hospital’s Acting General Manager Dr Genevieve Wallace were assisted by expert florists from Sydney Flower School.

Sydney Flower School’s Kylie Browne awarded Dr Wallace the winner’s trophy. Her team lavishly decorated Rivendell’s Great Hall with a gorgeous array of floral displays.

“We get to decorate this fabulous space and it’s a fantastic opportunity for our students and our team to come up with these designs every year,” she said.

Concord Hospital’s Director of Marketing Alice Kang said the annual Rivendell Flower and Garden Show is the only opportunity for the public to visit and enjoy the grand buildings and manicured grounds on the banks of the Parramatta River.

“We’re so proud to have property like this we can share with our community, that they can come in and enjoy the grounds and be part of a flower show that brings delight and wellbeing to our community,” Ms Kang said.

The Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital was established in 1893 for people to rest and recuperate for free following a bequest from wealthy colonial businessman Thomas Walker.

Since the late 1970s the Estate has housed the Rivendell Adolescent Unit including Rivendell School. Professor Marie Bashir, who went on to be Governor of NSW, was the Unit’s inaugural director and she is now the patron of the Flower and Garden Show.

TV presenter Sally Stanton said she was delighted to discover such a tranquil gem in Sydney’s busy inner west.

“I’ve never been to these grounds and I was so surprised how gorgeous the gardens are,” she said.

A highlight of the event was the floral fashions show, where entire costumes including headpieces, were created out of flowers by members of the NSW Professional Florists’ Association led by Lana Lichmann and Michelle Roberts.

A huge thank you to our partners and sponsors including Sydney Flower School, TAFE NSW, Rotary Clubs of Five Dock and Concord, Royal Horticultural Society of NSW and City of Canada Bay.

Special thanks to Sydney Local Health District’s Engineering team, who adopted out hundreds of tomato seedlings in the adopt-a-tomato program.

Check out the photos and videos from the event.

To find out more about this annual event see

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Page Last Updated: 27 May, 2020