Call for landscape architects to get involved

Landscape Architects around the country are being encouraged to consider displaying their talents at this year’s New Zealand Flower and Garden Show.

Event director, Kate Hillier, says last year’s event - held in west Auckland - was well received with visitor satisfaction rate at 90%.

“That kind of satisfaction rating is unheard of,” she says. “We’ve lost gardening on TV and we only have limited radio coverage. Magazine circulations are dropping, so this is really a main event for the industry to showcase their talents. An event which can communicate directly with consumers is vital for the industry.”

She feels participation from landscape architects was “somewhat reserved”. While she accepts that as a new event the show was something of an “unproven entity”, she hopes that this year the industry will be more willing to become involved.

There are prizes on offer - 17 gold medals were awarded last year, when judges praised the “outstanding, world-class exhibits”.


Convenor of judges, Pascal Garbe says: “It shows the excellence we’ve come to expect from exhibitors has not diminished, while relative newcomers have reached award-winning standards. It really reflects the growing talent in the New Zealand horticultural community.”

Kate Hillier says to ensure this year’s event - to be held in late November - is an even bigger success she’d like landscape architects to commit now to exhibiting now.


“A lot of designers enjoy it because it gives them an opportunity to do something for themselves rather than their client’s dream. They can do something quirky, or something that might not be completely appropriate for a client but it’s something they’ve always wanted to do.”

She does acknowledge that putting on a display can be expensive, which is why grants are available to help with expenses. The show also helps with pairing landscape architects and designers with contractors and nurseries to make things easier.

The Ellerslie Flower Show was Auckland’s big gardening event until it moved to Christchurch in 2008. But visitor numbers plummeted after the 2011 earthquake and the last show was held in Christchurch in 2014.