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Seduced By Roses But Not A Single Bloom In The Garden

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Seduced By Roses But Not A Single Bloom In The Garden

Triple Ellerslie International Flower Show gold medal winner Trina Tully is "totally seduced by roses" but you won't find a single bloom in the Auckland designer's Ellerslie International Flower Show exhibition garden for 2009.

Working with Christchurch-based Terra Viva, Trina is designing a kitchen garden with a focus on edible plants - vegetables and fruit.

Plants are Trina's greatest passion: "I am a true plants person. I love flowers; I love their perfume; I love picking flowers and taking them inside and I really enjoy designing and creating a garden which brings pleasure to other people."

With Terra Viva, a boutique garden and home accessories centre and caf, she is designing a garden that appeals to her other passion - cooking.

She says nothing beats venturing into the garden and picking vegetables for a meal or snipping some fresh herbs for a salad. "It is so satisfying designing a garden where there are edible plants."

Terra Viva's Peter Worsp reports a huge upswing in the number of people growing their own fruit and vegetables. This he expects to continue in 2009 with the economic slow down and more people wanting to know from where their food is coming.

"With recent global happenings, many people are beginning to re-evaluate their lives and are making decision on what is important to them."

He says home vegetable gardening has been one of the positive outcomes and the next trend in gardening will be people focusing on the complete home garden - trees, shrubs and flowers.

"For the last couple of generations gardening has been a mystery. They have thought growing plants is difficult, when in fact one of man's basic instincts is to get out and scratch in the soil when spring arrives and scatter seeds."

Peter says with a bit of confidence, average soil conditions and water everyone can grow plants.

For Trina, plants are what Ellerslie is all about for her; combinations of plants and how they are used in the design.

Her 2009 Ellerslie garden will be two separate potager-style kitchen gardens with a wide avenue over which will hang arches of beans. Barrel-potted bay trees, strawberry baskets, trialling tomato baskets, marigolds, cherry trees, crab apple hedges and cranberry hoops will all jostle for attention in the 10m x 10m garden.

Visitors will find red cabbage juxtaposed with gold variegated sage; lettuce, variegated silver leaf lemon thyme and flowering chives - the combinations will be a visual feast. Trina says putting together the potage garden is just like "floral arranging: it's about colour, texture and combinations".

"So many garden designs can easily incorporate vegetables, fruit and herbs and look simply stunning. For example, it is easy to replace a Camellia hedge with a row of blueberries. These trees can be nicely trimmed, have loads of lush, green foliage, beautifully perfumed white flowers and will yield fruit. These types of elements bring so much more pleasure to the garden."

Trina says kitchen gardens "do not need the designer touch but rather can be quite random and still look great".

"Even with a minimum of space there are opportunities to plant a few vegetables and herbs or even put a few pots of edible goodies on the deck."

Trina says Ellerslie is all about inspiring people to get out in their garden and what better fun than having a garden which produces fresh food for the table.

Ellerslie International Flower Show is New Zealand's premier week-long Garden Party in Christchurch's North Hagley Park from 11 to 15 March. The Show celebrates Christchurch's Garden City heritage and the best of national and international garden design. The 2009 Show will feature almost 80 horticultural exhibits, including 28 exhibition gardens, with loads of fresh and exciting ideas for every garden. Check out the website for further information ______________________________________________________________

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