Last week, Kilby Park Tree Farm hosted its annual Party in the Park. It’s our way to thank our customers for their year’s custom, to introduce Kilby’s ten acres to other members of their business and to connect with our clients on a personal level outside of a work capacity.
A miserable Melbourne morning with threats of rain gave way swiftly to clear skies and a mellow sun. The staff, after working so hard creating the party’s installation, were to be found visibly relieved behind the Vietnamese food stand, Shiraz in hand. Straw bale seating, the rustic music stage and the petting zoo all lent Kilby a rural ambience – if it wasn’t for the stunning decorative displays of Kilby’s tree stock you’d be forgiven for thinking this was an agricultural farm in the heart of Kew.
This year’s event was grander than the last. Although still aiming to retain an intimate feel, the planning and execution were stepped up compared with last year. DJ’s spun relaxed records in the sun whilst customers ate quality food and enjoyed a Sunday arvo drink. Live bands performed with a green backdrop of grass and saplings. Customers had the opportunity to introduce their families and coworkers Kilby’s stunning grounds.
The star of the show this year was undoubtedly the petting zoo. A firm favourite with both the adults and children, it was a bustling hub of activity which entertained the children, provided some charming childhood photos and buoyed everyone, adults and kids alike, who came into contact with the infant animals. The gleeful mood of the party was most prominent here, but anywhere you went families and colleagues were lounging on the grass, laughing and drinking.
This wasn’t just a chance to relax, however. There was a large industry presence at Kilby that day, with stalls and companies selling a range of hardware and clothing options to refresh those Monday morning blues the next day. One of the most rewarding parts of the experience from Kilby Park’s end was observing the networking opportunities opening up on the day: A chance for likeminded industry professionals to meet, socialise and discuss experiences or potential business collaborations. Whether it was a representative from a Melbourne nursery, a team of local landscapers or a landscape architect – connections were being made. It felt as if the industry had a home for the day.
Towards the end of the afternoon, Kilby Park presented its raffle to guests – a tree of their choice. It wrapped things up well and encapsulated the relaxed, sociable atmosphere of the afternoon and the gratitude Kilby feels towards its regular customers. A lazy afternoon’s entertainment in a beautiful setting with family, colleagues and friends – with noone spending a cent.