Hamilton's on a high at Ellerslie


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13 November 2007

On the eve of the opening of the 2007 Ellerslie International Flower Show, Hamilton City Council has received a bronze award for its entry in the Local Authority Flower Bed competition.

The award represents a new category at the show that challenges councils to reflect their region or demonstrate the 'spirit' of the area within a garden plot area of 7m x 4m.

Council Parks and Gardens contracts supervisor Gina Hailwood worked as both designer and project manager for the entry. Gina says that the competition gave Council the opportunity to display creative flowerbeds using unique planting techniques not traditionally used in city garden display.

"Our vision was to reflect the colourful vibrancy of Hamilton skies during one of the city's iconic annual events, Balloons over Waikato. It was a challenging concept and gave us a great opportunity to showcase the very talented skills of the team employed at Council."

Design of the garden started in April and the plants required were grown from seedlings in Council's nursery. Two options of bedding display plants were prepared to ensure that a good selection of hardy specimens were available in time for the garden display.

The final design represents an abstract aerial view of the city when viewed in a hot-air balloon with the main feature of the design being a large replica of the Hamilton balloon, standing three metres high. The balloon structure uses potted flowers, slotted into a frame, to make up the rainbow colours of the balloon.

The Waikato River is another feature of the garden design, which uses parsley formed in koru shapes set amongst lobelia to reflect the strong current and represents the significance of Maori heritage with the river.

Name: Sarah Bettle
Designation: Communication Manager
Tel (Direct): 07 838 6843
Mobile: 021 2792338
Page reviewed: 13 Nov 2007 12:00am