The Auckland Flower Show

Urban landscape provides a sensory garden extravanganza

The upcoming Auckland Flower Show at Alexandra Park has inspired civic landscapers on the North Shore into a whole new way of looking at their urban environment and the way it can appeal to people with physical challenges.

Kim Brown, parks officer for North Shore City Council, is leading the team that will create a ‘sensory garden’ for the Auckland Flower Show. The philosophy behind the design is that external landscapes can make people feel happy, relaxed and inspired, and these benefits should be available for all, no matter what their physical challenges. Such a garden has features that stimulate all the senses: sight, sound, scent, touch and even taste.

In brainstorming how these elements would manifest in their Exhibition Garden for the Auckland Flower Show, Kim says the design team wanted to emphasise integration, rather than separation for people with special challenges.

"There are already millions of sensory opportunities spread all over North Shore city that can provide for the human horticultural wellness experience," Kim says. "So we thought, why not consider some of the design ideas that already exist, and encourage people to appreciate all the benefits of being in open spaces?"

In the Exhibition Garden there will be a blend of North Shore's natural and created environments. "We will have interactive musical sculptures, a piece by artist Lyndal Jefferies, and a giant zylaphone. There is an entrance tunnel with an iconic twist inspired by Rangitoto Island, and a central water feature inspired by the pattens of the sand on our beaches."

Spectacular Gardens

All of the materials used will be recycled from existing parks or projects in progress, and recycled after the exhibition is over. It promises to be a sensory extravaganza, but Kim does not underestimate the challenges in reaching that point.

"The biggest challenge doing this garden is that we need to find all of the materials from other council projects, or find sponsorship from contractors and suppliers. And physically, we will be doing all of the work ourselves, supervised by our sponsors. It?s going to be a major team building exercise that will be put together with buckets of passion and enthusiasm."

The Auckland Flower Show takes place from 20-23 November 2008 at Alexandra Park in Epsom.

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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