Ellerslie Wrap Up

Scott has been busy at the Ellerslie International Flower Show putting together our ‘Last Australian Garden’ display.  It was tools down yesterday and the judging commenced in the afternoon with the winners set to be announced today.  Here is Scott’s wrap up of the event to date along with the images of the finished display.

The weather was horrific during the last week of construction.  Heavy rain and high winds over a couple of days turned the Ellerslie site into a quagmire.  Even though we were under a marque we were not immune to the water running into the display.  Luckily the weather pulled through in the final days which made things more comfortable to complete the displays.

Many exhibitors were burning the midnight oil to complete their installations literally not leaving site till midnight.  It is incredible the amount of time and effort that goes into constructing a display that will be displayed for less than a week.

We found a thousand and one uses for Jute matting made from coconut fibre and natural fibre string woven together in mesh rug.  It is used mainly to cover the exterior of the structure but when cut and pulled apart in varying lengths the material can be draped over the inside and form the half baskets along the walls.  Frayed at the edges will give an instant softening to any form.  We also used it to give a natural adhesive for the Sphagnum Moss to attach to. Great for tying the Lilies to the wire tornado as well.

‘The Last Australian Garden’ creates movement everywhere no better displayed by the rope paving.  Limited supply of the rope created a new adaptation to the original theme as we did not have enough rope to tightly pack it together so we spaced the lines with a finger width gap and filled the gap with small graded local grey stone.  An effect which actually highlights the movement in the rope pattern.  A nice bonus.

Lilies form the main colour hit within the installation.  Combination of dark and light orange used in different halves of the garden give a colour change as you move around the display.

The show has some great local design talents.  Dan Rutherford with his Christchurch creation through the rubble installation using sandstone building facades and projected images evoking emotions surely to play at the hearts of the locals.  Ben Hoyle has done a Water Lily display on a grand scale.  Metal formed lily structures support green walls on their insides but having only seen them half way through construction it is hard to picture how the installation is going to look.

Dan Rutherford’s team have been amazing in aiding the completion of our installation, especially with the man power being halved between the two installations.  We couldn’t have done it without Dan, Johnny, Phil and Lachy.   As well as the volunteers Jan, Annette and Ollie.

The show is in high spirits even with all the turmoil outside the show with the reconstruction of the city and hard economic environment.  The city itself still seems to be in shock and uncertain of its future.  Especially with the news of the Cathedral possibly being demolished for good.  Hopefully the show will help lift the city’s spirits as well.

Judging has taken place with the panel including our locals Jim Fogarty and Brian Rankin as well as international and New Zealand horticultural specialists.  We will be judged on the interpretation of the design brief to reality, quality of plants and lighting and overall workmanship.

Winner to be announced today!  To see construction photos, head to our facebook page.