The Auckland Flower Show

Drawing wellbeing from the wetland

Who could not warm to the idea of complete and utter wellbeing? It’s a concept that designer Clyde Tukaiora Connell is guided by in ‘Waiora’, the Exhibition Garden he will create for the Auckland Flower Show.

Waiora takes its name from the Maori goddess of health, who promoted total wellbeing with her calming waters that would rejuvenate all who drank from them. Waiora literally means ‘water of life’, which gives the designer the means to add some surprising elements to the exhibition garden. “We are bringing life to it,” Clyde says, “not just plants, but other living elements.” That is as much of the surprise that Clyde is prepared to reveal at this stage, but he promises it will be a relaxing retreat, and a place to rediscover the awesome power of life-giving water.

Clyde has chosen to recreate the wetland environment to demonstrate his theme of “complete and utter wellbeing”. “The wetland is doing all the work to filter the wastes of mankind, like phosphates and effluent. With so much rain in our climate, it’s natural that we should create this type of garden in our own backyards.”

Based in Warkworth, Clyde travels over most of the North Island creating gardens that are heavily influenced by water. He tends to rely on plants that grow well in the particular habitat, and uses sculpture, rocks and lighting to bring distinctiveness to the design. There is often a cave, which may conceal a utility shed or provide a grotto. Many Flower Show visitors in 2007 will remember the caves he created for Plantet Earth in the Starlight Marquee, which won three gold medals.

Living off the land for the past few years, the Northland-based designer has embraced sustainable principles in the garden. He says it means more manual work, when you are not using a spray to kill off weeds, but the rewards come in health and wellbeing. “What you do in your environment will make a difference - a disturbance or a harmony.”

Clyde’s partners in the exhibition garden for the Auckland Flower Show are artist Vaughan Morgan, Mahurangi Technical Institute, native tree nursery Liberty Park, and his own landscape design company, Trees Rock and Water Ltd.

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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Auckland Flower Show Ltd, P.O. Box 47 327, Ponsonby, Auckland, New Zealand.