While everyone always rushes to the big name show gardens that dominate Main Avenue, there is always so much to be seen elsewhere in the show. This year saw a record number of golds for the small gardens as well and we couldn’t help stopping by to check these out.

An Alcove- Best in show (Artisan)

Designer Kazuyuki Ishihara’s reaction to winning Best in Show was most telling as he leapt around hugging his team and loved ones, but that didn’t dull the sense of simple tranquillity that rolls off this small Japanese style garden setting.

Through clever use of ferns and mosses arranged around a stream, the garden has a lushness that is utterly captivating. A gorgeous enkianthus comanutus creates shade over the garden’s focal tea house and its soft white flowers provide a sweet scent that relaxes the observer even though the crowds were five deep keen to view it!

After the Fire- Best in show (Fresh)


A fantastic installation by designer James Basson showing the rejuvenation of life after a forest fire. Twisted, blackened branches jut out of the ground all over this garden, but are swamped with colour and vibrancy by pockets of fresh and colourful plants. Use of colour and structure with the planting give the illusion that the forest is still on fire, while at the same time bringing energy and life to a bleak landscape. Brilliant, imaginative design and well deserving of best in show.