A bird’s eye view of Christchurch’s Central City in 2026 has inspired the 2010 Ellerslie International Flower Show exhibition garden design by three 2009 Lincoln University Landscape Architecture Graduates.
Gareth Ford, Desmond Stock and Cameron McLean have spent a lot of time in recent months clambering over the rooftops of Central City buildings, taking in the views and looking to the future when Central Christchurch will be home to 30,000 residents.
Finding Solace in the Sky is their 2010 Ellerslie exhibition Show garden where they address fundamentals of inner city life, and consider the Pacific Ocean, Banks Peninsula and the Southern Alps as the only boundaries. .
The trio say they have expanded the concept of a courtyard garden and applied it to the rooftops of Christchurch, creating a 21st Century slice of New Zealand’s quarter acre paradise in the sky.
“As the City’s centre grows, space is becoming more precious than ever. The use of all available spaces, including rooftops, to create sanctuaries and green areas will become critical,” they say.
“New Zealanders have a love affair with their gardens: the lawns, paved entertaining areas, water features and the plants. Finding Solace in the Sky takes these key elements and transplants them on to an unused rooftop, retrofitting the space into a private residential retreat.”
Finding Solace in the Sky is divided into three distinct but linked areas. Wooden decking bridges a water feature, past a spa pool with an eco-planted sliding top to stepping stones past three chimneys topped with architectural plants puncturing the sky to the rear garden with a lawn and separate paved area for outdoor dining/entertaining.
“While many people want the convenience of living in the city, often they find themselves in apartments with no green space. Our garden shows with some innovation you can still find space for a scantuary and create a whole new perspective to your city environment. Finding Solace in the Sky offers all the benefits of inner city living but within an urban paradise.”
For the three university graduates, the Ellerslie International Flower Show has provided them with an opportunity to create a garden that showcases to a global audience their creative thinking and design talent.