Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Let the flower show begin...

So last night was the VIP opening night for the Ellerslie Flower Show for fancy pants like Matt and I. We drank champagne (no luck on the Pimms front alas) and ate as many canapes as we could (money's a bit tight so we had to make it do for dinner).

I wore an awesome frock (if I do say so myself) and Matt donned his Crane Brothers suit. I actually had at least three people stop me to tell me my dress was awesome (and no, it hasn't gone to my head at all), but I forgot to get a photo of it.

I've never been to a flower show before, so I don't know how this one compares with others, but it was pretty good. I've got lots of photos of the gardens which stood out for me...

The carnivorous garden (if I were a decent reporter I would know who put these gardens together - I'll blame it on the bubbles):

A garden with tiny crocuses nestled around giant acorns (you can't actually see the crocuses in the photo but they were there):

A gorgeous kitchen garden complete with preserves (hmm, why would that one appeal to me?):

This one was my personal favourite - designed by Blue Gecko - a pod containing suspended chairs hanging over a pond - doesn't sound like much, but there were two features which took my fancy - the first was that the pond was apparently lined with coffee beans to make it look completely black, and the second was that the mulch on the garden contained cocoa husks which meant that the entire display gave off the smell of.......CHOCOLATE! A chocolate smelling garden - nuts. What will they think of next eh?

The Supreme Winner for the event was a display that I hardy looked at prior to the awards ceremony and when it was announced the winner I kind of went .. huh? The one with the taxidermied animals? Basically, the display by Bush Telly involved an actual tiny production studio from which a number of live items will be filmed (and uploaded onto the world wide web) during the event. there was the little studio then 3 other areas which to my untrained eye looked just like bits of New Zealand bush and farmland. I was lucky enough to be able to chat directly with one of the judges (who were all flown in from international locations and have acted as judge of flower shows the world over) regarding the decision and why they chose this exhibit. Turns out it was partly due to their attention to detail and the realism of what they produced.

So I went back for a second look and decided it was pretty realistic..

...and even included a real live cow pat snuggled in amongst some very real pasture (see below). If I'd noticed that first time round I think I would have been far more into this display!

I also thought the possum trap was a nice touch:

So there you have it - the Ellerslie Flower Show review, by me.

Tune in soon for the SXSW review by me - we're off to Austin, Texas tomorrow! Yeee-har (I'm assuming everyone will talk like that and put a yee-har or a y'all at the end of every sentence but I'll let you know)!

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