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Stunning balcony garden gets silver

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NZ Flower & Garden Show accolade for Ryman

The Ryman Healthcare garden team is celebrating this week after winning a silver medal at the 2018 New Zealand Flower & Garden Show.

Rowena Jackson’s Linda Reid and Jane Mander’s Jason van der Hulst created the 3m x 4m balcony garden with the help of Logan Campbell gardener Ian Whyte and Christchurch-based Garden Support Shane Fairbairn.

The team said they were thrilled with the award and couldn’t wait to share the news with their families.

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“It’s awesome,” said Linda. “My daughter was thrilled for me and said ‘I’m really proud of you, Mum’. It made me quite emotional!”

The brief for the balcony garden took weeks in the planning, Linda said, with the aim being to include all those elements they knew were popular with Ryman residents.

“The residents as soon as they come in to the village they want their parsley, chives and mint, maybe a few tomatoes to pick, and lettuces, so we’ve got the edible garden in the trough there, next to the barbecue.

“And there’s a good mix of colour and fragrance,” she said.

Added Jason: “We’ve got that with the lavender and the roses and even the Michelia hedging plants, they will add a touch of fragrance when they flower.

“Hedging is a traditional Ryman look, along with the standard roses, so we have got that at the back there which provides privacy so they can enjoy their own space or entertain guests.

There was also a selection of pots with pink and purple coloured flowers including lavender and impatiens.

“These are the colours our residents have typically gone for,” said Linda.

To finish off the look there was a vertical garden feature, a mirror and a table and chairs set up for entertaining and relaxing.
“I think we’ve nailed it!” she laughed.

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“Our aim with this exhibit was to help visitors to the show see that they don’t have to give up gardening when they move into a retirement village,” said Jason.

“If you enjoy pottering in your own townhouse or apartment you can, or you can leave it up to the team of gardeners to enhance the spaces around you.”

The balcony category included various landscape gardeners, bee people and a real estate company.

The judges had to award badges according to how well the entrants had met their brief.

This is the second year the show has been held at the Trusts Arena in Henderson but the first time Ryman Healthcare has been a sponsor.

Celebrity Jacqui Clarke gave a shoutout to all the sponsors at a gala event on Tuesday where MP and former host of a tv garden show, Maggie Barry, officially opened the show.

The category winners were then announced to the audience.

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The overall Best in Show award went to Jules’ Zen Garden, a huge display which took 26 people 14 days to set up.

The biggest challenges for the team were working with the extremes of the Auckland weather – in this case very heavy rain - and for Invercargill-based Linda, finding the right plants for the warmer climate.

That was where Jason’s knowledge of Whangarei weather came into play.

“It’s about teamwork and working with likeminded people,” said Linda. “We’re all here to make the company proud of what we have done and hopefully we have achieved that!”

Property Portfolio Manager Julie-Ann Beattie and Garden Support Shane Fairbairn said it was a wonderful result and something that could inspire Ryman’s gardeners company-wide.

Julie-Ann added that the plants would be auctioned off at the end of the show’s run with the proceeds going to this year’s Ryman charity, the Stroke Foundation.

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