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Ellerslie’s gift to the city

29 June 2008

The Ellerslie International Flower Show will annually gift an award-winning exhibition garden to Christchurch.

This legacy of gardens will be installed in the Botanic Gardens, forming an avenue of courtyard gardens along the Gardens’ boundary with Christ’s College and leading to the new Gardens Visitor Centre.

Ellerslie International Flower Show Managing Director Dave Mee says this legacy of gardens will provide the city with a year-round Elllerslie showcase for international tourists and visitors to the city to see first-hand the design excellence and innovation for which Ellerslie has become renowned.

"It will also provide the city with a promotional area to promote future Shows."

The first Christchurch-hosted Ellerslie International Flower Show will be held 11 to 15 March 2009 in Hagley Park. It is expected to attract similar numbers to those attending previous shows in Auckland and inject more than $14 million into the local economy annually.

The first garden to be installed in the Botanic Gardens will be the exhibition garden, being designed by the design team at the Botanic Gardens, for the first show in Christchurch next year.

Mr Mee says it is fitting that the garden designed by the Botanic Gardens’ team lives in perpetuity as it was this team which last year won the inaugural National Flower Bed Competition at the last Auckland-hosted Ellerslie International Flower Show.

The team will be aiming for gold again in 2009.

"This was a stunning exhibition garden, being an elaborate floral bed depicted the region: ornamental lettuce Canterbury Plains, alyssun Southern Alps, petunia Pacific Ocean and a verbena City."

Botanic Gardens Botanical Services Manager Jeremy Hawker says Christchurch can be guaranteed that next year’s garden will be equally as innovative and it will be an outstanding inaugural exhibition for what will become known as the Ellerslie collection in the Gardens.

"Under the Botanic Gardens Management Plan our vision is to celebrate and present plant diversity through collections which promote the relationships that people have with plants.

"The primary role of these gardens is to get people to connect to plants through displays, Ellerslie’s gardens providing the perfect synergy for this to happen."

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the city will be privileged to have this legacy of gardens as a showcase for the Ellerslie International Flower Show.

"These gardens will enable Christchurch to promote year-round the Ellerslie International Flower Show, being an identified place in the city where visitors can always get a taste of the Ellerslie experience."

He says importantly, the decision to create this legacy in the Gardens is supported in the Botanic Gardens Management Plan.

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