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A Menu for Life at Ellerslie Flower Show

11 November 2005

A Menu for Life at Ellerslie Flower Show

Imagine a garden packed full of sweet smelling flowers, succulent fruit, flavoursome vegetables and aromatic herbs.

With the buzzing of bees, the twittering of native birds busily pollinating blossoms, the pungent aroma of compost and a comfy chair inviting you to relax and take it all in.

Auckland Botanic Gardens presents a 'Menu for Life', an inspiring combination of plants and garden ideas designed to promote healthy living.

Botanic Gardens Curator Manager Jack Hobbs hopes that this year's Ellerslie Flower Show exhibit will inspire people to create edible gardens in their own backyard.

"This garden is about creating something that is both beautiful and productive.

"The Auckland Botanic Gardens is not just a big flower garden, it is a place where ideas grow. Our aim is not only to inform people but to inspire them to take these ideas home and make them thrive in their own backyard," he says.

The exhibit, created entirely by Botanic Gardens staff, focuses on healthy living and sustainable gardening ideas. It uses combinations of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers that complement each other. These examples of companion planting are further enhanced by a beehive, compost area and water feature.

Set in the edible garden is an outdoor kitchen.

"Healthy living is not just about enjoying the outdoors and gardening. Homegrown fruit and vegetables are a delicious and rewarding result of spending time in your garden," says Mr Hobbs.

There will be daily demonstrations of cooking fresh produce from the edible garden, carried out by Auckland chef Mark Nicholson, in conjunction with 5+ A Day.

ARC Parks and Heritage Committee Chair Sandra Coney says it is great to see another fine Botanic Gardens exhibit at the Ellerslie Flower Show.

"Last year's gold medal winning garden, 'The Mythological Maze of Maui', is now being enjoyed by many visitors to the Potter Children's Garden here at the Botanic Gardens.

"It is pleasing to see another exhibit that gives visitors ideas to keep thinking about long after they've left the flower show.

"We hope this exhibit will encourage people to return to the Botanic Gardens, site of the Ellerslie Flower Show, to learn more about the plants that grow in our region."

The Auckland Botanic Gardens are open every day from 8am to 8pm (daylight savings hours) and visitors can stroll around the different gardens and plant collections. The award-winning Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre - Huakaiwaka is open from 10am - 4pm daily, with Café Miko also open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings.

ENDS

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