Singapore success

I can’t find evidence that mainstream media have covered the People’s Choice Award won by Kate Hillier (until recently exhibitions manager at the Ellerslie Flower Show) and Dan Rutherford at the Singapore Garden Festival in August, or even that Kiwis were at the show – compare this to the coverage of a certain landscaping All Black (video link) when he and his business partner attended and won gold.

Winter Illusion was entered in the Fantasy Garden section and, according to the festival’s website, “enthralled” visitors with its surprise – a winter garden nestled inside a typical Singaporean garden. At the 2010 Ellerslie show Dan created An Icy Oasis, celebrating the landscape of Antarctica, although struggled to achieve the “slow melt” mentioned in the article and instead struggled with a fast melt.


‘An Icy Oasis’ at the 2010 Ellerslie International Flower Show. Photo: Sandra Simpson

His background in geotechnology and sculpture means Dan’s gardens are always worth seeing and, if you can grab a chat with him, his thinking behind the designs is fascinating. Read an interview about his life and work, including setting up in Singapore.

Another story that may have slipped under the radar is the one about illegal mining of swamp kauri threatening an already fragile native orchid. According to this report much of the population of the fragile Thelymitra ahipara, one of only two native species of sun-orchids, has been wiped out.

And there will be plenty of people who don’t think it matters very much. And yes, that is the same Oravida.

Australia’s plant of the year is … a lavender! Princess Lavender has been some 15 years in the making and is, according to the story, pink. It’s available in New Zealand, try this nursery or this one, or ask at your local garden centre.


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