A tranquil Zen garden designed and constructed by horticulture students was a first on several counts for the Hawke’s Bay House and Garden Show.
Featuring bamboo screens, hanging tea lights, tropical planting and a still pool reflecting a statue of Buddha, the garden was the only one in this year’s show held at McLean Park in Napier.
And while it was also the first time that EIT Certificate in Horticulture students had submitted an exhibit, tutor Aaron Williams expects it won’t be the last.
“It was a sophisticated design,” he says of the garden. “I’m quite proud of what the class achieved.”
The 12 students were formed into four teams and each was assigned a category – native, spring, family backyard and contemporary. Judging of their efforts was based on ingenuity, show appeal and content and the winning design, a modern garden, was built with input from all the class.
Materials were contributed by local businesses – Green Leaf Nurseries in Clive, Mitre 10 Mega, Bay Landscaping Supplies and Aaron’s own landscaping business By the Olive Tree.
The exercise gave the students a sense of achievement and ownership of the project, he says, and, in manning the exhibit over the three days of the show, they had also gained public feedback on their work.
“It was a real-life situation that put them straight in at the deep end,” says Aaron, who teaches the landscape design and construction module for the certificate programme.