|Not a member? Sign up now!|
This year’s Auckland Flower Show, taking place at the centrally located Alexandra Park, promises to be a multi-faceted celebration of all the naturally good things in life, according to exhibitions coordinator Jenny Pullar.
The wow factor for many is likely to be flowers, she says. Amassed in two comfortably cool floral design halls, will be thousands of blooms, displayed in wonderful and unusual combinations. Well-known plant breeder Dr Keith Hammett teams with equally acclaimed painter Murray Grimsdale for an artistic presentation of stunning new sweet peas, while an Aussie, Mark Pampling, and a Kiwi, Iain Stephens - both at the top of the floral design professions – collaborate on a massive 8m x 4m fusion of flowers.
There will also be designs that suggest ‘dances with flowers’, created by floral clubs and societies. Just how these creations come to life will be revealed in daily demonstrations, as well as an ‘impose’ competition, on the first day of the show (Thursday, 20 November).
The show gardens will present new plants, new thinking, and new materials in landscape design. Keeping-it-real design categories, such as the ‘Kiwi Back Gardens’ and ‘Planted Borders’, will give keen gardeners an abundance of ideas to implement in their own pieces of paradise. The large Exhibition Gardens - traditional stars of the show - take poll position along the racetrack and promise to be stunning when seen by day, by night, or from elevated positions in the grandstands.
As ever with a flower and garden show, education is high on exhibitors’ agendas. The sustainability message is implicit in the ‘Make the water well’ exhibit by Kirsten Sach, a raised garden that consumes nasties in rainwater runoff. Edibility is also on the designer menu, from the ‘delectable landscape’ by Jules Moore and Cindy Nancarrow, to KiwiGold’s presentation with Tully & Gardener of the gourmet’s courtyard garden, and an earthy concept of Eden, by WormsRus.
Tranquillity is another theme, appearing in Clyde Connell’s Waiora, a tribute to ‘complete and utter wellbeing’, and the fragrant beauty of Norma Manuel’s Rose Garden.
A compelling programme for the Speaker Series will appeal to those eager to learn more on their favourite pastimes, including orchids, organics, herbs, fruit and floral design.
But entertainment is the overall aim of this year’s show. Organisers Paul McLuckie and Linda Parkinson have orchestrated a programme that emphasises both horticultural and social aspects, with a gala dinner, a dine and dance party, a wine village, performances by international entertainers, and an object art exhibition.
Their philosophy is one of inclusion. As well as the garden and floral design communities, they have welcomed schools into the event, with a competition to create planter boxes among the opportunities. The Lions service club is also proud to be on the landscape, as the volunteer “human resources” at the show, while the Catholic Caring Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary of caring for families and communities, in association with the event.
Spectacular by day, and sensational by night, it’s all on at The Auckland Flower Show next week at Alexandra Park, 20-23 November.
On the web: www.theflowershow.co.nz