The Auckland Flower Show
The Auckland Flower Show 2012

The growing appetite for edible gardens

The grow-your-own trend is one of the counter-cyclical outcomes of a flat economy. But the boom in edible gardens is being fuelled by more than cash-starved households, according to landscape designer Jules Moore. “People are looking for alternative health remedies. The edible garden satisfies this need on two levels: in the fruit and vegetables that it produces, and also in the act of gardening itself, which releases endorphins that make you feel good.”

With Cindy Nancarrow from Planting Solutions, Jules will present a “taste of things to come” in an edible garden exhibit for the Auckland Flower Show. Designing for the ‘planted border’ category, the pair has chosen plants in topiarised form to create the formality appropriate to this design category. “We’re thinking outside the square when it comes to a planted border,” says Jules. “The big trend is to grow your own food, and there’s no reason that it can’t be done in a formal, but visually tasty way.”

In the edible mix will be standard mandarins, a range of berries, grapevines and some less-mainstream edible plants chosen for their health-giving properties. All the featured plants have “real purpose”, she says.

Jules will present her ideas on health-giving gardens at the Auckland Flower Show speaker series, and in a retail outlet that will promote unusual plants, as well as in her show garden. She is soon to publish a book on how to gain the health benefits from gardening and plants.

Another Flower Show exhibitor that takes a keen interest in educating people about garden health is WormsRus. The trend to edible gardens has led to a fast-growing business in organic recycling systems for households and businesses. WormRus proprietor Colin McPike works closely with councils to educate the public about composting food waste. “Up to 30% of the waste that goes into our bins can be consumed by compost worms,” he says. “And by composting this waste, not only will your garden produce healthy organic foods, you’ll save money on grocery bills and divert a large amount of kitchen waste from the landfill.”

You don’t need a back garden to compost, Colin says. Even if you’re an apartment dweller, there is a composting solution. The systems, all of which will be featured in his “Create your own Eden” garden at the Auckland Flower Show, include bokashi, which sits under the kitchen sink.

Composting has evolved, he says. “Because of the potential for odours, we used to put the compost bin down the back of the section. But if you’re careful about the amount of waste that goes in there, making sure it’s not more than the worms can handle, then there’s no smell, and it’s quite possible to have it close by the kitchen, which is much more convenient.”

Colin believes if you’re going to the trouble of making your own food, it makes sense to grow your own compost. “Composting worms consuming household food wastes make the healthiest compost. It’s so much better than any commercial product you can buy.”

Story ends...

If you were one of the many thousands who attended the Auckland Flower Show 2008 then you will know what a great, world-class show that it was.

Indeed when one of our esteemed international judges from Australiae says that the Melbourne Flower Show could learn from us then we know that we have achieved the standard that we set out to achieve.

If you missed it then make sure that you click here to register so that you get all the early offers for next year.

Alternatively if you want to exhibit next year then please Click here to enter your details (and you will then be directed to the appropriate exhibitor's guide) or Email us.

Make sure that you register now, and check back regularly for updates!

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