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New Zealand Garden First For Chelsea Flower Show
by press release
December 14, 2003

A New Zealand designed garden has been accepted for the first time at the 2004 Chelsea Flower Show - the world’s most famous floral spectacle.

The garden named ‘100% Pure New Zealand Ora – Garden of Well Being’ will feature at the show in London in May 2004.

It is the first time New Zealand has put an entry forward.

The garden has been years in the making, and in true Kiwi style was designed by a small team including project leader Vicki Salmon, artist Lyonel Grant, film logistics expert Kim Jarret, plant experts Trish and Doug Waugh, and visual artist Tina Hart, who called on talented family and friends to ensure its success.

Among those involved was two-time Oscar winner Richard Taylor, the creator behind the orcs and other such creatures featured in the movie trilogy 'The Lord of The Rings'.

Its name, ‘100% Pure New Zealand Ora – Garden of Well Being’, derives from the Maori greeting ‘Kia Ora’ meaning be well.

The Maori cultural theme is continued throughout the garden, which features a hot mineral pool, thermal terraces, a marae or traditional meeting place, thermal water channel and Maori sculptures.

The plants, all of which are rare natives, include punga fern trees which will be removed from a sacred Maori mountain in the central North Island specifically for the garden.

More than 150,000 people are expected to attend Chelsea which covers 11 acres and takes 800 people three and a half weeks to build.

The garden will be judged along with more than 13 others prior to the start of the show.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says this will be a great showcase for New Zealand.

'We know that many travellers who are interested in New Zealand also have a keen interest in gardens. Chelsea Flower Show is a great way of reaching out to these people and showing another aspect of New Zealand that they may not have been aware of'.

Vicki Salmon says she's thrilled the team’s hard work has paid off.

'We’re very excited that after three and a half years of planning we’ve succeeded. It is great to be able to work with Tourism New Zealand in taking a slice of New Zealand to England'.


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