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Megan Kane's Garden For Ellerslie Flower Show

Megan Kane co-creates a garden for “the couple at no. 54” at Ellerslie Flower Show

Installation brings new meaning to ‘common garden materials’

Landscape designer Megan Kane describes her Ellerslie Flower Show site as one that ‘really gives the public something to think about—and to give an engaging alternative when trekking around the show.’

Miss Kane, one of a team of three, has been coming up with innovative solutions for client projects and her ‘Number 54’ site at Ellerslie, which she says is designed for a typical couple in West Auckland, Bruce and Sheryl.

‘Sheryl loves the idea of getting a newly designed garden like the ones

she’s seen in the Gardener every month. Unfortunately, Bruce just doesn’t like landscape designers, when he can do the job!’ she says. The fictional Bruce agrees to be a designer ‘to keep from hearing about it every five minutes.

‘It is this eclectic (yet very real) mix of contemporary versus "kiwi bloke" that provided the inspiration for the design: taking materials and ideas from the New Zealand vernacular and tweakign them into a modern style to fill both parties’ wish lists.’

Miss Kane, assisted by co-designers Yusuke Yamamoto and Jarrod Kilner, took corrugated iron, lemons, grass, chicken wire and D10 steel bars to demonstrate that even “common garden” items have artistic potential. ‘We didn’t want just to explore materials in a different way. We want to explore the concept of what it is to be part of the New Zealand culture,

and how it is possible to take "Kiwi ingenuity" and apply it to familiar, physical things.

Further, the design is "interactive", with a washing line that gives the viewer the impression that one is peeking into the garden at number 54.

In addition, Miss Kane wanted to question whether landscape design has become too fashionable for its own good—a very Kiwi question in a country that often shuns the overly fancy. The site also critiques the shift away from artistic expression as a result of of-the-moment plants and materials that in fact limit artistic expression, says Kane. ‘The design is a satirical response to these thoughts. We question the viewer and invite them to think about everyday life. ‘We want to explore landscape design as a social commentary, a landscape commentary and a work of art. The best is yet to come!’ she says.

About Megan Kane Megan Kane is a new talent in landscape design. Formally trained as a graphic designer who has worked in the UK, Miss Kane returned to New Zealand to explore her creative potential more, discovering a love of landscape design. Her installation at the 2003 Ellerslie Flower Show is the first public showing of her work.

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