A creative and ambitious project that combines indulgent foods with horticulture, promises to tempt visitors to New Zealand`s next major garden festival – the 2011 Ellerslie International Flower Show.

The `Pure Indulgence` garden by Wellington designer and 2010 judge Ben Hoyle will be one of the main exhibits at the show which will run for a week during March 2011, in New Zealand`s garden city of Christchurch.

Hoyle, who has exhibited at the Ellerslie Flower Show since 1998 and has won seven medals, says the garden of indulgence will be his most creative and daring yet.

Pure Indulgence
Hoyle describes the garden as “the fusion of all things sweet and horticultural treats … a magical journey in a truly dreamlike world”.

He says the garden is unconventional and will be horticulturally challenging.
“It will include a diverse and unique range of kinetic features and sculptures blended with audiovisual technology.

“I wanted to bring back the fun element of gardening and colourful plants. My design includes the use of plants that have cultivar names such as `cotton candy` and `chocolate sauce` so it`s all about indulgent, naughty foods. I think this garden will really appeal to a wide range of people, especially kids,” says Hoyle.

Award-winning designs
The designer first exhibited at the flower show in 1998, winning his first silver medal.Since then he has gone on to exhibit a further six times, bringing his medal tally to seven, including three golds. In 2009, his gold-winning design also saw him win the Judges` Supreme Award for landscape construction.

In 2008, Hoyle was selected to represent New Zealand at the Singapore Garden Festival. In October 2010, he will again represent his country at the first Gardening World Cup, to be held in Japan.

Hagley Park venue
The Ellerslie International Flower Show has been held at North Hagley Park, in the South Island city of Christchurch since 2007.

The event now attracts a global audience of designers, garden enthusiasts and international media. The 2010 show attracted more than 57,000 visitors and injected NZ$14.73m into the local economy.

The event provides an annual opportunity for the horticultural, floral, landscape design and construction businesses to showcase their latest creations and innovations to the world – as well as forecasting trends and plant fashion.

Hagley Park`s central city location makes it an ideal venue. The 186-hectare park dates back to the 1850s, and is renowned for its well established gardens and mature trees.
One eighth of Christchurch city is devoted to public parks, reserves and recreation grounds giving the city its reputation as New Zealand`s `Garden City`.

Chelsea Flower Show
Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says the Ellerslie Flower Show is compared to the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London, and the aim is for the New Zealand event to be ranked amongst the top five shows in the world.

A number of exhibitors from previous years have already signed
up for the 2011 show, including 2009 gold medal winners Canterbury Horticultural Society – New Zealand`s largest horticultural society.

To mark its 150th anniversary, the Canterbury Horticultural Society has doubled the size of its garden but all other details will be kept under wraps until nearer the event.

Mayor Parker says work is also underway on securing a feature garden, which has previously been the main feature at another world event. Again, any further details are being kept secret.

Last year`s feature garden – by multi-award winning Chelsea Flower Show designer Chris Beardshaw – was a major draw card, and Ellerslie organisers are promising next year`s feature will also be a “show stopper”.

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