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Christchurch retains National Flower Bed title

Christchurch has retained the National Flower Bed title at this year’s Ellerslie International Flower Show.

The city’s entry, a floral tribute to the controversial Peacock Fountain in the Botanic Gardens, has won both gold and been named Ellerslie’s National Flower Bed for 2009.

Christchurch won the inaugural National Flower Bed Competition in 2007 at the last Auckland-hosted Ellerslie International Flower.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens Services Operations Team Leader Jeremy Hawker says the Garden City’s pride was at stake and he is very proud Christchurch has retained the title.

“With two of the four entries winning gold, the competition was tough.

“Our exhibit is a stylised version of the fountain –complete with sculptures – and visitors to Ellerslie can expect a garden packed with loads of flowers and lots of colour.”

The National Flower Bed Competition is modelled on the traditional flower bed competition by the Royal Horticultural Society in Britain and demonstrates the increasing importance councils and local authorities place on their surroundings.

“Love it or hate it, the late Victorian fountain which has been labelled ‘a refugee from a confectioner’s nightmare’
has certainly been an award winner for Christchurch.”

Akaroa’s “celebration of the wildlife and diverse cultural heritage” of the bays also won gold, while the Waimakariri’s bold and contemporary design capturing the essence if the district, surrounded by mountains, foothills, rivers and alluvial plains leading to the sea won silver.

The Ashburton district’s “bird’s eye view of the rich tapestry of the highly productive district” won a bronze medal.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says he is proud the city has retained the title in its first year of hosting Ellerslie.

“Christchurch is New Zealand’s Garden City, therefore it is fitting that the city is creating award-winning gardens.

“I was very impressed with the gardens designed by our neighbours and thank them for entering into the spirit of attempting to wrestle the title from Christchurch.”

Mr Parker says the city will be going for a hat trick in 2010 and he has thrown down the gauntlet for other local authorities, particularly those in the North Island, to take up the challenge and attempt to win the title from Christchurch.

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