Ellerslie veteran Ben Hoyle reveals garden details

Friday 25 January 2013, 2:58PM
By Christchurch City Council


Crowd favourite Ben Hoyle has revealed details around his highly anticipated garden being showcased at this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.

Hoyle, who won last year’s Yate’s People’s Choice Award, has titled his latest garden A French Kiss in Akaroa.  The exhibition garden is inspired by the history and influence of the early French settlers during the 1800’s in the Banks Peninsula region.

He describes the garden as “delicately intricate”, with a spiralling rata vine motif on a massive black water canvas.

“While being technically challenging the floating parterre (a formal garden construction) should be breathtakingly beautiful.  The meandering vine symbolises the very nature of those early settlers journey and provides a unique walkway to the sunken ‘lounge pit’, where one can relax below the waterline.”

Hoyle says the biggest challenge is getting the two distinctly different gardening styles, from France and New Zealand, to work successfully together.  French gardens are typically revolved around a concept of controlling nature with formality and order, while the New Zealand planting style is more natural.

“This landscape won’t set out to be authentically French, but rather express a modern hybrid of these two very different cultural interactions.”

Hoyle’s garden, as in previous years, is typically theatrical but will also have some inspired ideas for home gardeners.  There will be an assortment of new release plants, mixed with traditional favourites.

He will be onsite during the show, being held in North Hagley Park from 6 – 10 March, to talk to fellow gardeners and catch up with visitors.

“I have been coming to Ellerslie since 1998 and love getting to chat to the gardening enthusiasts that come to the show every year.  It’s great to share experiences with them and be energised by their enthusiasm.”

Follow Ellerslie International Flower Show on Facebook

Discounted tickets at Early Bird prices are available until midnight on 14 February 2013 from the website, all open Christchurch City Council Service Centres, Mitre 10 Mega Stores in Christchurch, Ashburton and Timaru, Terra Viva and Nichols Garden Centres.