Award winning sustainable vegetable garden

Gone to Seed

Gold Medal Garden & Emerging Designer of the Year

Ellerslie International Flower Show 2012

Modelled on Chelsea, Ellerslie is New Zealand's premiere garden exhibition & retail show. Gardens are judged around the world by a panel of local and international judges against a common standard.


Our brief was to create a contemporary sustainable garden for our clients Tom & Barbara Good, whose dream is to live “the good life”.


But a bit like the owners, this garden is bolting and going to seed!


Proud garden designer Rach Matthews
Contemporary style vege garden
Vege garden for small spaces
Vege garden sustainable practices
Award winning vegetable garden
Bean frames using flower heads
Beans climbing up Elephant Garlic
Beautiful bolting cabbages
Cabbage brasica family
Broccoli Cavolo nero Brussel sprouts
Tuscan kale Cavolo nero
Brusel sprouts
Companion planting in vege garden
Monarda Lemon Bergamot
Companion planting with nasturtiums
Globe artichokes
Cos lettuces
Beans climbing up flax seed heads
Flax seed heads
Beans climbing up bull rushes
Espaliered apple trees against walls
Ballerina apple columns against wall
Grapes on steel trellis mesh
Grape leaves on steel trellis
A wall of grape leaves
Composting system for small gardens
Compost trenching system
Award winning vegetable garden

Wellington Designer Wins Gold and Emerging Designer of the Year

Media Release, Ellerslie International Flower Show, March 2012


Rachael said the inspiration for the garden came from her mother’s own veggie patch which tended to run wild at this time of the year. She began growing the vegetables for the garden in November, saying it was “nerve-wrecking with the weather, and then working out how to transport my larrikin lettuces from Wellington to Christchurch without the beets behaving badly, a broccoli rebellion or a full-scale mustard mutiny”.


Veggies aside, the garden is packed with innovative ideas for home gardeners, like space saving layouts for growing fruit on walls, an underground composting system that doubles as a boardwalk between the beds and DIY bean frames made form sculptural flax flowers, alliums, bull rushes and toetoes.


Lead Judge of the Emerging Design Category Renee Davies from Auckland said Rachael’s garden stood out for its innovative design.


“Within a small space, she had put a compost bin below the boardwalk and had climbing frames on the courtyard made from recycled materials; everything was done in such a way that was simplistic and had great clarity.”


She praised Rachael’s use of materials and how everything growing in the garden had gone to seed, reflecting the mature stage of the clients whose dream was to live “the good life”.


“The construction was outstanding, the detail impeccable and there was a real beauty in the way the theme manifests in the plant quality.”


“The quirky touch was in the way she had used toe toe, flax, and alliums to stake her plants.”


Read about our vege garden:
Read about our vege garden:

Gone to Seed

Show highlights by:
Show highlights by:

Xanthe White

A judge's diary:
A judge's diary:

Lynda Hallinan

Design highlights:
Design highlights:

NZ Gardener

Edible plants:
Edible plants:

Feijoa Unique

Edible hedge:
Edible hedge:

NZ Cranberry

Vegetable planters:
Vegetable planters:

Corten steel

Handy herbs:
Handy herbs:

In pots & bowls