With a week to go until this year’s New Zealand Flower and Garden Show, exhibitors were welcomed onsite to The Trusts Arena in West Auckland.
This marks the start of what event organisers say will be thousands of hours of getting their hands dirty in pursuit of a coveted Bronze, Silver or Gold Medal.
Over the coming weeks, they estimate that over 22,000 plants will arrive at the site, delivered by 245 trucks and installed by over 475 people. 220 cubic metres of soil and 1.1 kilometres of fencing will also be delivered. This will culminate in an experience that they expect will welcome 40,000+ visitors through the gates over five days.
The show, to be held from 28 November-02 December, will feature over 100 top local and internationally acclaimed designers.
Event Director and multi award-winning garden designer, Kate Hillier, says that she is excited that after 12 months of planning, the build-up has finally begun.
“Visitors attending the Show are often unaware of the work that goes into bringing a display to life. Our exhibitors begin working on their designs up to one year before the show, brainstorming ideas and drafting the plans. With under a month to go, all of our exhibitors will be flat out creating, building and planting their show-stopping displays.”
With a huge range of exhibits reflecting current design trends, event organisers promise there will be something for all visitors to enjoy, from weekend home and garden warriors, to horticultural, design and art aficionados.
A familiar face at this year’s Show, is TVNZ’s HOMEmade gardening guru, Dan Mackay. As a father of five, Dan has designed an unconventional but fun, family friendly garden, complete with swimming pool.
One of last year’s gold medal winning designers, florist Franca Logan, has taken on her most ambitious project ever. She is creating what is thought to be New Zealand’s largest ever hanging floral art installation.
The prestigious Garden Design Society of NZ will be presenting a collaborative display showcasing the creative talents of their professional design community and illustrating how different designers can translate the same brief in a myriad of different ways.
For those keen on turning their own hand to floral design, the Show will host live the finals of the FLONZI Apprentice Florist of the Year Competition.
Joining the impressive line-up of Kiwi designers are Australia’s, Brent Reid and Christian Jenkins, and Iftikhar Ahmed from the USA, who will be assisted by students travelling from the Ukraine for the New Zealand Show. UK designer, Kevin Gillespie, will be recreating a garden design that was recently showcased at the UK’s prestigious Harrogate Flower Show.
Other exhibits to keep an eye out for include New Zealand’s first ever sonic bell garden, which the award-winning designer plans to move to her own garden after the Show, in time for her own wedding bells to chime. For the young at heart, there will be a Fairy Garden complete with pint sized peep hole.
Crowd favourites, the Garden to Table Schools Garden Competition, presented by Mitre 10, and the Balcony Gardens Category will be back to inspire.
“Because we know that not everyone has a huge garden and more of us are choosing apartment living, we wanted to bring back the popular Balcony Garden displays this year. I think visitors will be truly inspired by not just the creativity, but the fact that small outdoor spaces can really add to our quality of life,” says Kate Hillier.
Also back by popular demand will be the upcycling displays, and right on trend will be pollinator inspired gardens that are expected to have visitors buzzing with excitement.
New additions to the 2018 Show include first-time local and international garden designers, a refreshed VIP Experience and a revamped Show footprint with more indoor displays so that Auckland’s unpredictable weather won’t play havoc with visitor experiences.
The New Zealand Flower and Garden Show kicks off on 28 November- 02 December at Auckland’s The Trusts Arena.
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