GRIFFITH'S stature as an "oasis in the desert" was again strengthened at the weekend as verdant lawns and blossoming flowers lured hundreds of visitors to the annual Festival of Gardens.
On two spectacular spring days, green thumbs from around the nation marvelled at the amazing diversity of local gardens from small town plots to expansive, free-flowing properties.
Festival chairwoman Cr Pat Cox said while visitor numbers were slightly down on previous festivals, the sheer ingenuity of those behind the 10 display gardens made it an event to remember.
"The gardens are looking absolutely amazing; the rain has washed off the dust and freshened them up after the hot days we had," Cr Cox said.
"Some have found their roses aren't in full bloom and some lawns are still recovering from the severe winter, but the overall quality and variety of gardens on offer is incredible."
PICTURE GALLERY: More photos from the Festival of Gardens
Cr Cox said while bus groups were down - only 13 were booked in this year - the number of independent visitors had increased.
Celebrity guest and ABC Gardening Australia presenter Sophie Thomson said she was most impressed by the variety of gardens in Griffith and also praised the thought and design elements that had gone into building them.
Mrs Thomson officially opened the festival on Friday night at St Alban's Cathedral and was the guest speaker at the festival dinner at Exies on Saturday night, giving an interactive presentation about the importance of not over-spraying in the garden.
Five of the display gardens will remain open for today's final day of the festival.