Clyde Tukaiora Connell’s spectacular ‘Waiora – Life Giving Water’ exhibit for the Auckland Flower Show has won the coveted People’s Choice Award.
Taking people back to the bush, the ambitious creation included a 2.5m high cave, waterfall, built-in aquariums, and abundant lush planting.
Waiora means ‘water of life’, and Clyde’s aim with the garden was to show the harmony between man and nature, with water as the life-giving force sustaining both.
“I’m glad the people chose it. They seem to really enjoy the exhibit. They appreciate all the native fish, eels and koura being there, and they love the fullness of the planting.”
Through his company Trees Rock and Water Ltd, Clyde regularly creates gardens featuring caves, water and rock formations. But he admits his Auckland Flower Show concept was “fairly ambitious”, which is possibly one of the reasons why it was not completed in time for the Flower Show judges’ deadline of midday last Tuesday. Achieving the People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by visitors to the show, Clyde is happy he and his team “got there in the end”.
The Waiora garden sponsors, Mahurangi Technical Institute, Liberty Park and Rent a Bro, were also celebrating the win. “We’re keen to go to Chelsea Flower Show next,” Clyde says.
The final day of the Auckland Flower Show is today, Sunday 23 November, with gates closing at 6pm.