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Manukau’s performance garden wins gold at Ellerslie Flower Show

Tuesday 13 November 2007, 5:27PM

By Manukau City Council

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AUCKLAND

Manukau City Council’s performance garden has won a gold award at the Ellerslie International Flower Show.

The garden gives flower show visitors a taste of the Aotearoa that colonial settlers first experienced and features exciting performers from a range of Manukau’s cultures. It won the gold award in the retail garden category.

Judges described the garden as “really innovative. It captures the essence of this part of the world.”

The colonial theme was chosen to fit with Crawford Reserve in Howick where the garden will be permanently relocated after the show.

The performance garden starts in Aotearoa with primal dark bush. It then moves through early European responses to the new land, using plants available at the time. The garden ends with the cultivation of crops and produce of the early settlers.

Performing at the garden throughout the show will be Chinese umbrella dancers, Indian dancers and a Scottish piper, as well as the Manukau’s famous Maori and Pacific Island cultural groups.

Manukau Mayor Len Brown says the award is recognition for a stunning garden that will be one of the highlights of the show.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with the award. It’s a really good design that captures the essence of Manukau and Aotearoa.

“It reflects Manukau’s motto of being ahead of the times. I’m hugely impressed with the brilliant blend of colour and shape.

“The garden is the place to be to check out some of the best performers from our diverse ethnic communities.”

Visitors can walk through the garden and see how New Zealand’s flora and fauna changed. As well as the progression in the plantings, quotes and images tell stories of the earlier pioneers and their experiences.

The previous Ellerslie exhibition gardens are on show at Mangere Mountain, Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, Totara Park, Manurewa and Ferguson Oaks Reserve, Otara.

An Eye for Sculpture, Manukau’s showcase of 25 well-known and emerging artists from around the country, is also sponsored by the council.

Curated by Clevedon sculptor James Wright, the exhibition’s garden setting provides each piece with its own space where it can be viewed from every angle.

Manukau City Council has been proud to sponsor and host the show in the city for the last 10 years.