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Auckland Flower Show 2008 20--23 November

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News release from the Auckland Flower Show 14 October 2008

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."


Continued >>>>


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Auckland Flower show 2008

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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.