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Love in the garden

Tuesday 7 October 2008, 11:08AM

By Auckland Flower Show

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AUCKLAND

What is it about a garden that makes it a perfect place to get married? Auckland Flower Show exhibitor Carolyn Melling believes it's about the plants. "It's like being in a church, when you're among plants, you can feel a spiritual presence."

Carolyn's appreciation for the soul of plants comes from a lifetime of being among them. Her parents, Dick and Annemarie Endt, established Landsendt nurseries in Oratia, West Auckland, in the 1960s. Carolyn has diversified the business, creating a tropical pleasure garden from her parents' years of "plant hunting" in South America. Landsendt is now recognised as a 'garden of significance' by the Gardens of New Zealand Trust.

Carolyn will create the 'Wedding Garden' for this year's Auckland Flower Show in collaboration with bamboo product maker, Bambusero, and Urban Fale. It is a concept that Carolyn says she has long wanted to create, and it's time has come now that Landsendt itself has been developed as a wedding venue.

The exhibition garden will feature a Samoan fale and bamboo structures surrounded by tropical plants that are both rare and beautiful. "We are including two 15-year-old Geonoma undata (red crown shaft palm). These are not available for sale anywhere in the world apart from seed. We also will include two specimen Parajubaea torallyii (mountain coconut), and an African cycad."

Another feature will be a bridal table, beautifully set and decorated with floral designs of unusual flowers from the Landsendt garden. Carolyn also extols the use of bamboo, which she believes is underappreciated in New Zealand gardens.

"This is not going to be a traditional wedding garden with roses and hydrangeas," she says.

"This is a show, and we really want to reveal a garden that is different and botanically exciting, because that is what people come to see."

The Auckland Flower Show takes place at Alexandra Park, 20-23 November 2008. On the web: www.theflowershow.co.nz