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Final Countdown For 10th Ellerslie Flower Show

Media release
Sunday 21 November


Designer Xanthe White checks that every plant is in perfect condition in her low-allergy garden at the 10th Anniversary Ellerslie Flower Show in Auckland.

After months of planning and weeks of planting, pruning, polishing and preening, New Zealand's top landscapers are now putting the finishing touches on their designer gardens at the 10th Anniversary Ellerslie Flower Show.

Over the past two weeks, the show venue at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens in Manukau City has been transformed by hundreds of thousands of plants, tonnes of concrete and compost, dozens of buckets of paint, thousands of cubic litres of water and plenty of perspiration.

Tomorrow is D-Day for the designers, as the Ellerslie Flower Show's panel of international and local expert judges converge on the site from 2pm to decide who will win the coveted Gold, Silver and Bronze awards for 2004.

There are more than 40 designer gardens covering more than 4500 square metres at Ellerslie this year. They range from a subtropical urban oasis to a mythological maze based on the Maori legend of Maui meeting his parents.

Outdoor art, innovative garden screens, decks, subtropical plants and contemporary water sculptures are key elements in modern New Zealand landscapes and the Sunday Star-Times Exhibition Gardens promise to showcase all the latest trends.

Auckland designer Xanthe White's contemporary courtyard garden certainly won't be sneezed at. Sponsored by Flixonase, it offers three stylish solutions for allergy-free gardens with bold flowers, colourful foliage and architectural form.

"I hope the garden will have the wow factor even for those fortunate enough not to suffer from the spring snuffles," says White.

The Ellerslie Flower Show is held in Auckland but designer Sandra Arnet has crafted a garden that takes visitors on a journey from north to south. Her design, sponsored by The Warehouse, includes rocks specially sourced from Cromwell and the Haast Pass and tussocks dug from farm paddocks in Queenstown.

"My brief was to design a Kiwi garden that represents and celebrates the amazing diversity of our North and South Island climates. Ultimately my garden is about using plants to evoke a sense of our place in the world," Arnet reveals.

Hire a Hubby is also presenting a vision of the Kiwi garden as it used to be, with a retro flower bed and vege garden. The garden will be sold at the end of the show, with proceeds donated to the Kidney Kids charity.

Other highlights include a water garden inspired by ancient civilisations, a vibrant Soundscape garden, two interactive children's gardens; an urban paradise; an artist's garden inspired by Maori and Polynesian motifs and a modern kitchen garden furnished with unusual edible plants.

For the first time this year, all of the gardens include innovative outdoor lighting solutions and award-winning lighting designer Jenny Pullar has also been commissioned to light up special features around the showgrounds.

"The lighting effects are sensational and will provide a completely new experience for showgoers. For me it promises to add a special sense of night magic which I'm looking forward to sharing with my own family and friends," says Ellerslie Flower Show event director Cath Handley.

A special Twilight ticket is available for admission from 4pm-10pm on Friday 26 November and Saturday 27 November.

The 10th Anniversary Ellerslie Flower Show opens to the public at the Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens from 10am Wednesday 24 November. The gala opening on Tuesday 23 November has sold out. Tickets are on sale at the gate throughout show week. Visit for more information.


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