Gardens of Innovation created for
The Wellington Botanic Garden
The Wellington Botanic Garden has held a competition each year for the innovative design & use of plants. Our designs have won on two occassions, and installed at the main entrance gates of the Gardens for a year.
Koru Parterre - winning design 2010/11
The koru is one of the most widely used symbols in Maori art and culture, and it has become a national icon in its many different forms. It resembles an unfurling fern frond and generally symbolises new life, growth and strength.
Three forms of the koru are planted in a contemporary and local take on European parterres, which are flat, patterned gardens usually planted in hedges.
On the left: “Pakura Spiral”, is based on a traditional carved pattern of two interlocking spiral koru, planted here in double rows of black mondo grass and a centre line of Flax Phormium "Surfer Bronze".
In the middle: “Koru Reworked” is inspired by painter Gordon Walter’s contemporary interpretations of the koru. The unfurling koru are planted in black manuka Leptospermum "Wiri Kerry" and red myrtle Lophomyrtus "Little Star".
On the right: “Ponga/Silver Fern” is based on kowhaiwhai, which are traditional rafter and barge board paintings. The koru spiral is planted in native green Corokia "Pip Squeak", with a silver fern Cyathea dealbata at its centre symbolising growth and strength.
Inspiration for this design came from the national collections of koru at Mana Whenua, Te Papa Tongarewa - The Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.
Ruby Necklace - winning design 2006/07
Ruby Necklace was a fanciful design to compliment Wellington's annual festival of the World of Wearable Arts. Imagine a necklace of giant Coprosma rubies dripping with diamonds and draped around the neck of the Garden's Grand Dame Norfolk Pine.
“Ruby Necklace, the winning design layout for the Botanic Garden’s Innovative Garden competition ... proved a great success with its emphasis on red coprosma “rubies” set in circles of variegated agapanthus against a background of bright green foliage dripping with tiny white diamonds,” reported Bethney McLennan, gardening features writer for The Dominion Post and a judge of the garden design competition.