ENTERING the Valentine Hall in Addo one was immediately engulfed in the sweet fragrance emanating from the carnival of roses, strelitzias, lilies and daisies – to name but a few.
This year's theme, "A Carnival of Roses", at the 29th Addo Rose and Garden Show saw a creative interpretation of celebrations using roses.
An estimated 5000 visitors stopped to smell the roses at the annual event, held in the Sundays River Valley town last weekend.
The lifestyle show, which celebrated its 29th anniversary this year, is organised by the Sundays River Women's Institute to raise funds for local charities.
The Institute's chairwoman, Nita Tayler-Smith, said the support had been "absolutely marvellous".
"It is a huge amount of work and planning to make the Addo Rose and Garden Show a success. All the money raised goes to local charities, many of which are totally reliant on this source of funding," she said.
The group of women, mainly farmers' wives, spent months preparing for the event.
Sundays River Women's Institute member Bianca Woolley said without teamwork the event would not be what it had become.
It keeps attracting visitors, both new and old.
"We all learn to work with each other, thinking up ideas and building on them until we have the finished product, like 'Festa del Vino'," Woolley said.
Hundreds of thousands of flowers and a budget in excess of R36000 were used to create the world-class display.
Displays included "Queen of the Carnival", "Carnival of the Animals", "Festa del Vino", the mother city's famous "Kaapse Klopse", "Waltz of the Flowers", Fireworks Fantasy", a carnival carousel and the Latin celebration "Dia de los Muertos" (the day of the dead).
Selecting a favourite was difficult for many visitors and they were kept mesmerised by the ability of the institute to visualise blossoming celebrations.
Mossel Bay resident Mechanne Louw said she returned every year.
"It is never the same, each year is different. It is amazing," said Louw who had been visiting the show for four years.
While many visitors return year after year, like Louw, Queenstown resident Armando Damarah was a first-timer.
"My wife and I planned to visit this year and we will definitely be back next year," he said.
The show also showcased rose specimens of the garden variety rated by the institute.
Garden-lovers could further develop their green thumbs by attending a Speaker's Corner information session.
Tips and tricks included getting started on worm farming and growing herbs and vegetables on windowsills.
Allan Haschick, from Floradale, discussed making use of old items for functional and decorative purposes.
Children were entertained by Popsi the Clown and the scouts. There was face painting, a rough-and-tumble tyre obstacle course and a Junk 4 Funk workshop on the Saturday, where children made musical instruments from recycled materials.