Gippsland and the Chelsea Flower Show … Here We Come!!!!

I just noticed how long it’s been since I’ve posted and I am flabbergasted!!!! Where did those months go …. actually I know where …  in a flurry of activity drying and refurbishing our wonderful nets.  I promise we have not been idle. Plus we have been working on the next exciting steps for our beautiful poppies.  So much to tell you!!!!!

We are now travelling with the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, currently in Tasmania but coming to Bendigo in November and then continuing it’s journey around Australia.  You must see this wonderful exhibition … tickets are free but you need to book.  Numbers are strictly limited for each session and tightly controlled. I can’t wait til it comes to Melbourne so I can have a good look.

We have a wonderful exhibition on at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum until the end of December

IMG_1930 EditWe have supported the Australian Craft and Quilt Show with their wonderful and inspirational exhibition with our own piece … A Nation Weeps …

And over November the poppies will be heading down to Gippsland Victoria for a Shire wide collaboration of poppy pandemonium … 40 nets plus lots of stems, strings and loose poppies will find themselves spread throughout 12 towns in Gippsland including Newhaven, Cowes, Wonthaggi, Morwell, Warragul, Trafalgar, Briagolong, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Orbost and Omeo staged by Creative Gippsland, Regional Arts Victoria and many community groups coming together.  You can find out more information in the weeks leading up to the event on the Regional Arts Victoria facebook page or website.

Displaying Creative Gippsland logo 2012.jpg          Displaying RAV logo black on white.jpg

The next major installation will be at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May next year.  We are so excited about being invited to be a part of Chelsea … it really is the pinnacle of horticultural events world wide with a television audience on more than 3.5 billion … Of course our own Phillip Johnson‘s wonderful success story at Chelsea in 2013 probably had something to do with the invitation … nevertheless the Victorian Government through the Department of Premier and Cabinet has agreed to be our major sponsor for the event and we cannot thank Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Veterans Affairs John Eren, the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee and their teams for their tireless work in finding the funding to get us to Chelsea .. it’s a coup for all of us and we are planning to do everyone proud.

Lynn and Phillip with the Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon John Eren MP

After Chelsea we are hoping to do a short but poignant tour of the Western Front … perhaps not with all the poppies but a portion … 2016 is a huge year in European war history and we would love to be able to share our wonderful community tribute in some way … more news on this as it unfolds.

Although the nets all stood up relatively well to the rigors of ANZAC Day … they are quite dirty and all of the glued poppies were damaged.  We lost most of the attached dedications in the rain as well and the nets have stretched somewhat with the weight.  Of course we want our poppies to be perfect to visit Her Majesty  in her home down, so we have spent the last 4 or 5 months removing, washing, repairing poppies and replacing them on to the nets.  It’s been a HUGE undertaking with a very small group of volunteer helpers in my home.  We have enjoyed the process and wonderful friendships have been cemented … not to mention the gorgeous foodstuffs consumed over lunch.  We have completed 40 nets and still have 40 to go and will need to step up our net repair program to meet our deadlines.

We also now also have the enormous task of creating 20,000 additional stemmed poppies to take with us.  This mammoth task will be coordinated for us by Susan McDougall … who many of you who worked with us on the nets in Melbourne will remember as our erstwhile coordinator.  So that will be an enormous but incredibly worthwhile task.  Australian Country Spinners have agreed to sponsor us with yarn to make the poppy stems … a whopping 70kg of premium acrylic yarn and we will be looking for teams of people to take on the task of making stems and assembling poppies around Victoria.  More on this in the next week or so when we are a little more advanced with our planning.

11080895_883766694999985_7080525445797966013_nIn the meantime … we need more poppies.  More more more.  We are looking to gather an additional 20,000 poppies for our stems.  I know that many of you have poppies waiting for a home … and would love to send them in to us.  We are quite precise in our requirements because these special poppies will need to be able to hold their own if it rains … so they must be tightly knit or crocheted and not too small.  We are suggesting using the same patterns used on the blog but with a size smaller hook or needle than you would normally use.   They must be red but you can get as creative as you like with your centres.  These babies are going to see the Queen (along with all the others of course).

So more news to follow … and I promise I will be good and post more often.

Hope we can get you on board to help us to manage the enormous task ahead of us … but one of course, that will be well and truly worth it.



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For the Fallen : The Armed Man

Good morning poppy people.

The Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and Melbourne University Choral Society are presenting a spectacular “For the Fallen” concert in Melbourne’s iconic St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday 30 May at 8pm, and 5000 Poppies have been asked to decorate the Cathedral with many thousands of our gorgeous poppies in support of this very special concert to commemorate the ANZAC centenary.

For the Fallen / The Armed Man promises to be a moving and magnificent event, both visually and musically stunning.

Some 200 choral and instrumental musicians will perform a stunning program of works by composers including Australians Nathan Warfe, Colin Brumby, Christopher Willcock and Jenny Gill, as well as Edward Elgar’s WWI masterpiece “For the Fallen” and Karl Jenkins’ smash hit “The Armed Man (A Mass for Peace).

Melbourne University Choral Society will be joined by over 50 members of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and superb soloists including Merlyn Quaife AO, and Sally Anne Russell, conducted by Andrew Wailes.

We would love to see a huge contingent of poppy friends attending. It promises to be rather spectacular.

Tickets are available  from

Please share this event widely with as many of your friends as possible and encourage them to book early to enable them to secure a good seat.

Find our more on the Facebook Event Page :

MUCS ANZAC POSTER with soloists CDT-mMSUsAAUcDR St Paul's CathedralFacebook 600x600 MUCS

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Thank You

Good morning poppy friends.

We are having a lovely afternoon tea on Sunday 24 May to celebrate our good works and to say a big thank you to all who have participated in this wonderful project.

Fed Square Sculpture 2So … we will be at the Kew RSL, 63 Cotham Road, Kew, this Sunday between 2.00 p.m until 5.00 p.m. for a cuppa and a catch up.

Please let me know for catering purposes if you will be coming along …. SMS or telephone Lynn on 0451023531

Marg and I would love to see you there.


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Post Installation …

Well now … the weeks are flying for me … still no time to rest although I must admit to a small sleep in this morning … We are still buoyed with the outcome of our fantastic installation in Fed Square and Princes Bridge … accolades for the project are still coming in and we think we ALL deserve them.  Every person, every poppy has had a part to play in the whole … and my goodness when I think about what we have achieved … I still need to be pinched.

Fed Square Banner Pic - CopyBut that was last week … this week we are still drying our poppy panels and will need to go over them in detail to get them ready for the next installation … and also looking at future plans.  We are removing another part of the installation from the Atrium fracture gallery at Fed Square tomorrow morning … but the static display in the Atrium and Deakin Edge fracture gallery will remain for another week.  These elements of the installation are, as you know, quite different from the “field” on the forecourt and equally beautiful.  If you haven’t had a chance to view … it’s still worth the visit.

Fed Square Deakin Edge

It’s interesting to me that the Anzac Weekend is a bit of a blur … much like planning a wedding … so many months in the planning and then the day disappears in a whirlwind.  I don’t remember much about the whole thing actually … it went so fast … in such a flurry of activity that I forgot to stop and smell the poppies … wet wool .. they smell like wet wool!

However, just because this part of the journey is coming to a close … I wanted to to let you know that we are not sitting idle … and so I want to share with you this week’s big news …

We have been invited (through our wonderful installation designer Phil Johnson) to take our poppies to the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016.  Almost from the start this was part of my “dream”, and now we have an opportunity to make it real.  The Chelsea Flower Show is set in the grounds of the historic Chelsea Hospital … which has great ties to many of the sick and wounded from WWI. Many a digger found himself (herself) repatriated to Chelsea from the fighting in Europe so the connection is strong.

There is still much work to be done before it happens not the least of which will be to find funding  … but we have support from many people who can help us to make it happen.  And so the machinations begin.

I am also hoping that if we are able to get this off the ground (which I have no doubt we will) that we will also be able to organise travel and tours to complement our journey for our many followers, so that we will be able to travel as a group and share the love … that, I must admit, sounds REALLY good to me.

So …. did you think it was all over?

It’s only just beginning!!!!!

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We Did It …

Good morning Poppy Friends … what an amazing day we have had in Melbourne …. truly … everything has just fallen into place with this amazing community project that we just assumed that the weather would play it’s part … could not have been more wrong.  It rained on an off all day … except however, as we did the mammoth job of moving the whole installation from Fed Square to Princes Bridge so the marchers could march through it … and again when we moved back to Fed Square.

It was a big day for us …. starting at 4.00 a.m. as we rolled up the 10 metre panels which were absolutely soaked … I think their start weight dry is approx 15 kg … wet … around 40 kg each.  Thank God for the men and women of the MFB – Melbourne Fire Brigade (and just quietly Paul Richie who had the connections).  Lifting those incredibly heavy loads looked so easy for them and they did it with a big smile twice in one day.  Huge thanks also to my very good friend Ian Cornwell from Doncaster Mitre 10 … with his truck … it made moving the load to and from Princes Bridge so much easier.  And of course … heartfelt thanks to all those who helped with the deinstall and reinstall … including my own very precious family.  And lastly … Phillip Johnson … what a dynamo that man is … the vision and the execution … he was a force to be reckoned with as he marshaled so many people into a cohesive team and Marg and I are SO grateful for his enormous will to get the job done … and what a job he did.  In retrospect I keep wondering to myself …. how would we have done it without the firies …. ever ambitious … I just knew it would happen somehow.

But the highlight of the day was the thrill for us as we watched the marchers march through the poppy field  … something I will personally never forget.

And at the conclusion of the march … straight back to Fed Square … rolled out and replaced in record time before the rains came again … and just in time for the helicopter fly over with the camera … to see a HUGE field of poppies again on the steps at Fed Square.

Congratulations all of you … an incredible job, incredibly well done.

So … what you have been waiting for … more pics. Not in any order at all … just random pics taken from a range of sources … I hope you don’t mind that I have borrowed them for a moment or two …

2 day fm 1  2 day fm 3 2 day fm 4 2 day fm 5 2 day fm 6 10531349_807359799333745_564366647146371044_o - Copy 11110458_10205797644877828_5077636319102971359_n - Copy 11146362_807359839333741_4299439458027239140_o - Copy 11146582_807359789333746_6358513492804649972_o - Copy Eureka Skydeck - Copy Fed Square Banner Pic - Copy Fed Square Poppy Princess - Copy Phil Lynn and Marg 1 Phils photos 2The MFB in full flight


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The Show has Begun …

Good morning poppy friends everywhere.

It is done … the first round of installations in Fed Square are complete.  As our massive group of volunteers descended upon Federation Square in Melbourne yesterday … and a 12 hour plus install commenced I am not sure any of us were ready for the impact of the work we have been doing for the last two years.  There will be more photos and content to follow … but thought you might like to see a few pics from yesterday’s install to excite you this morning.

There are several parts to this installation … the two fracture galleries in the Atrium where we are flaunting our beautiful strings and ceramic poppies alongside gorgeous knitted and crocheted creations plus a static display in the atrium itself which is most of our non yarn poppy panels …  the photos are not great but there will be more today in the daylight.

11062341_900324396677548_6634209880454863734_nFracture Gallery Fed Square Fed Square Deakin EdgeFirstly our beautiful sculpture on the Fed Square forecourt … titled GRATITUDE .. by the wonderful and amazing Adrian Egglestone and his equally amazing team at Uniweld Engineering (Melbourne).

Fed Square Sculpture 2 Fed Square SculptureAnd last but certainly not least … our main installation on the forecourt at Fed Square.  A beautiful “field” of more than 800 square metres of poppies … in an installation designed by our own Phillip Johnson … it is simply breathtaking in its simplicity and beautiful to behold.

Fed square Forecourt 1 Fed Square ForecourtThere will be more photos to come … but I wanted you to be sure to catch some eye candy as you woke this morning.

Enjoy the fruits of your labours. Marg and I are grateful for your contribution.

But wait … there’s more.

The 5000 Poppies New Zealand team has also posted images of their installation in the Navy Museum, Devonport .. a stunning installation.  Lisa Wallace and Trena Lile and their team have done an amazing job.

5000 Poppies New Zealand 2 5000 Poppies New Zealand

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Wow … that few weeks went fast …

Good morning poppy friends.

We are now into our final week of organisation before the big event next week.

11062341_900324396677548_6634209880454863734_nFor the past two years we have been collecting your beautiful poppies for what promises to be the most spectacular community event on the Anzac Centenary Calendar, and for the past eight weeks we have been working solidly on the physical display … it has taken every ounce of energy and every second of our time and the help of many hundreds of volunteers to get to where we are today… we have constructed 80 – 10 x 1 metre panels of poppies (800 square metres)  on nets and a further 14 panels  – 2 x 1 metre panels of non yarn poppies … They are absolutely beautiful … works of art and so imbued with our respect and gratitude for our servicemen and women and their families … It has been a labour of love and such an honour to be involved with this project, and with the contributors and volunteers … many personally but also those who contribute not only their beautiful handcrafted poppies, but also through our facebook group and other channels.

Marg and I were playing with some numbers during the week and we estimate (and we realise that it’s an incredibly conservative estimate) that well in excess of 50,000 contributors and volunteers … and more than 130,000 hours have gone into making this tribute alone…  We have received more than 250,000 poppies and have spent many thousands of hours of assembly, admin and organisation.  That doesn’t include the many thousands of hours that have been spent on making poppies in the community for local display that this project has sparked …

I must also make mention of Phillip Johnson (Phillip Johnson Landscapes) who has been tireless in his dedication to this project … his stunning garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show was amazing and a real teaser for the big event … he has been amazing.  We are lucky and incredibly grateful to have his help.  Also I would like to recognise the efforts of Ted Baillieu … who has promoted the project everywhere he can throughout the last two years … both personally and in his capacity as the Chairman of the Anzac Centenary Committee in Victoria.  I also want to thank the RSL State President: Major General David McLachlan AO and the Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle, who have both supported the inclusion of the poppies in the march … so our veterans and their families can fully appreciate the depth of feeling from the national (and international) community.  We have been lucky to have these men in our corner.  They have helped to move mountains.

From little things … big things grow.

So … now the hour is almost upon us and we are all about to launch our tributes.

I must say, without reservation, it has been an honour working with you, and Marg and I cannot thank you enough for your involvement, creativity and commitment to our wonderful project.

So … a few important dates and information :

Our initial installation will be activated on the main forecourt in Fed Square Melbourne on Friday 24 April (we will be installing on Thursday evening).  You can visit the site on Friday and see our beautiful field of poppies in all its glory.  There will also be a static display in the Atrium in Fed Square and both Fracture Galleries … at Flinders Street and Deakin Edge.  There will be poppies on strings, loose poppies, stunning ceramic poppies and many others … these displays will be set up over Thursday and Friday so will be up in time for Anzac Day.

On Friday morning there will be a press conference in Fed Square at 10.30 a.m. You are all invited to come along for our presentation to the world at large.

Also on Friday we are planning to meet en masse in the late afternoon (with families in tow) to marvel at our creation and perhaps share a drink (although I am told by Fed Square that we cannot drink in the Square proper … there are a number of establishments in the upper square and lower that we can congregate in at some stage for a celebratory drink).  There will be no formal ceremony … but many to share a poppy making yarn with as we celebrate a job incredibly well done (that feels like an understatement in light of what we have achieved over the last two years). If you are in Melbourne, Marg and I would love it if you could join us at 5.00 p.m. Friday 24th on the forecourt in front of the display in Fed Square.

On Saturday morning (while many are at the Dawn service), much of the original display on the forecourt will be moved onto Princes Bridge (down the road) for the duration of the march … to allow our marchers to march through them. It will be a very emotional thing for us I guess and also for the marchers to be able to walk through the middle of our tribute … I expect there won’t be a dry eye in the house.  After the march they will be moved back to Fed Square for the remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday.

On Sunday night the poppies will be moved out of the weather and down to the Atrium (under cover), although we will not have space for all of our panels.  They will stay in the Atrium until Friday May 1 and then the panels will be put into storage.  the remainder of the display in the two Fracture Galleries will stay until at least May 4.  So there will still be poppies to see …

This is quite a complex activation I know but it is a great way to allow as many people as possible to see as much of the display as possible.

We have enough volunteers listed to cover all the physical work … but spare a thought for us … it will be very hard work.  I will be contacting those who have volunteered in the next day or so to lock in times.

I think that is it.

Except that … we are now taking EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST from those wishing to apply to exhibit all or part of the display over the next four years.  The whole display … or at least our 80 panels are planned to go to Perth for Remembrance Day this year but other than that … nothing else is locked into place.  If you wish to contact me directly to express your interest in displaying all or part of the installation at a gallery or event … please let me know by email : with the subject line Expressions of Interest.

Lynn x

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