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Wellingtonians Ecstatic Over Ellerslie Wins

The DomPost,, 6 March 2013



Four Wellingtonians and a Kapiti primary school are celebrating success at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch 

Koru inspired hull of a waka

Rach Matthews and Christine Prebble, commissioned by Auckland City Council, won with this garden City of Sails.


Four Wellingtonians and a Kapiti primary school are celebrating success at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch.


Student designer Bayley LuuTomes, of Tawa, shed a tear yesterday as he was named the Student Designer of the Year 2013 for his rooftop garden, Living Art.


"I'm speechless. This is so overwhelming," he said.


"My mum and I were here till midnight some nights trying to get this finished. There's been a lot of hard work."


Judges said his work stood out because of both its "great use of space and materials and its faultless construction".


The multifunction garden, inspired by Dutch artist Pieter Mondrian, features a glass bridge, coloured glass pergola and moving mirror image, an outdoor TV, and new plant releases.


Another Wellington star was multi-award-winning Kapiti designer Ben Hoyle. He won gold for his swirling, lake-like garden, entitled A French Kiss in Akaroa.


"I've got a wonderful team of friends and family who have worked their guts out for this," he said. "It's time to celebrate now."


Wellington designers Rach Matthews and Christine Prebble also scooped a gold, then the supreme award in the garden bed category.


Their piece, City of Sails, was commissioned by the Auckland City Council, which had the pair recommended to them by flower show staff.


"We were Wellington designers doing it for Auckland," Mrs Matthews said.

They were asked to create a garden bed with the brief: A small sailing dinghy cuts through the sparkling waters of the Waitemata Harbour, the gently swelling waves shimmer in shades of blue through the glistening white horses.


After receiving the brief three weeks ago, the pair set to work on the piece, spending up to 12 hours a day completing it in Christchurch.


Garden beds were similar to those seen at roundabouts, Mrs Matthews said.

Raumati South School's showpiece, Our Sustainable Schoolyard, proved a popular site with judges.


The colourful creation, which took out a silver award, featured a monarch butterfly garden, an edible flowerbed and a recycled water feature powered by a bicycle.


The Ellerslie International Flower Show opens to the public this morning and runs until Sunday.


Friends Grant Stephen and Rebecca Stewart took out the show's supreme award for their design, Revolutionising Reuse.


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