After much anticipation, I left my country garden and headed into the big city to check out the NZ Flower and Garden Show. There hasn’t been a garden show on this scale here for a few years, but it takes more than an earthquake and a few soggy seasons to keep good gardeners from gardening. It was a delight and a pleasure to see such creativity on a grand scale. If these amazing gardens can be whipped up in such a short space of time, it gives me confidence that when we head to the coast, making something of the rugged landscape isn’t out of the realms of possibility.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by the lovely team at Gardena to join them on their stand and also get the chance to explore the show and see all the wonders for myself. The tricky part was my invitation was for the last day of the show and so for an entire week before my visit my social media was flooded with amazing imagery from the event. I had to decide if I wanted to indulge in this feast of horticultural gorgeousness that surrounded me at every turn, or would it spoil it for me and take away the element of wonder upon seeing things first hand on the day. I decided photos would never do it justice and decided to use all of my self-control and restraint and waited patiently for the real thing.
And I was so pleased I did. The day was incredible. The sun beat down from the blue sky above and the gardens, even after a week, looked fresh and inviting. There were elements of all of them I enjoyed and wondered how I could work them into the new place. I am allowing myself a little space to dream, but not to plan. Things could still become undone at this stage. However, going to an event like this, while on the verge of something new and exciting, I found myself more open to possibilities that I wouldn’t otherwise be. My current garden is what it is, and I like it that way. The new garden could be anything I want it to be.
Most of the gardens incorporated some kind of water feature, a stream, a pool, a waterfall or fountain and in the heat of the day it was just what any good garden should have. Just standing beside a garden and listening to the water was enough to feel fresh and alive when moments ago I was wilting. I need a water feature in the new garden and I’m spoilt for choice for inspiration.
My eye was drawn to the little details that had gone into, not only the display gardens but into the multitude of stands. I do have to say, while the flower side of things was absolutely incredible and the scent in that area of the show was heady, I found my main interest lay elsewhere. I’m just not that good with flowers. The extent of my flower arranging is to bung them in the nearest container and more often that not it is a jam jar. I am full of admiration for what they can do, but it does show up my inadequacies. Maybe next time I should pay more attention to this brilliant art form.
Much to my delight there was plenty of vegetable growing going on. Now this is where I feel at home and can appreciate the effort and energy required to put together a garden of the calibre seen at the show. It is hard enough getting an ordinary garden to look fabulous without the palaver of getting it looking perfect in a temporary situation in baking hot conditions. The school gardens were most impressive, and it was great to see growing food is in revival among the next generation. We all have a responsibility to ensure this life skill survives into the future. For many it is just a hobby, but it is a life skill nonetheless.
It was an absolute pleasure to have been able to attend this show and thanks to Gardena for inviting me. It was a lovely experience to be able to chat with other gardeners and talk about the finer points of the tools of the trade. Gardening can be a solitary thing, so it is nice to come together and just soak it all in.
Come again soon – Summer is here, and it is a little hot – not that I’m one to complain.
Sarah the Gardener : o)