TIMING is everything when it comes to planning one of the country's biggest garden shows.
And now the heat is on - quite literally - for organisers of Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers set to open mid-September.
Unseasonably warm winter temperatures in south east Queensland have been keeping council horticulturalists extra busy this month.
"Mother Nature is treating us to a very mild winter this year and is confusing some of our flowers," said Toowoomba Regional Council's councillor Joe Ramia.
With almost 160,000 annuals and 20,000 bulbs blooming the army of gardeners responsible for bringing the florals to fruition report that a record number of flowers are expected.
But recent cold mornings and warm days are throwing the plants out of whack, forcing organisers of the festival, which attracts 100,000 visitors to the city each September, to tweak their horticultural strategy to prevent mass blooming.
"Our teams are out de-budding the flowers by hand and watering the plants to ensure they are in tip-top condition," said Mr Ramia.
The teams are responsible for ensuring the city's gardens, walkways, parks and public spaces bloom on time and in a perfect kaleidoscope of colour for the carnival.
"We're anticipating one of our biggest years on record thanks to this sunny weather," he added.
Over two months ago 40,000 annuals and 8000 bulbs were planted in Queens Park, 68,000 annuals and 10,500 bulbs in Laurel Bank and even more around town.
The carnival is Australia's longest running horticultural event of its kind and this year ABC Gardening Australia regular Sophie Thomson will be joined by a line-up of internationally-acclaimed musical acts and Australian chef Anna Gare.
The Grand Central Floral Parade remains at the heart of the festival which will bring the city to a brilliant standstill on Saturday September 16 when thousands of people are expected to line the streets.
- Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers: September 15-24