f
l

Kiwi garden at Chelsea wins silver medal- and gets the royal nod of approval

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

LONDON: A new Waikato horticultural export company has been awarded a silver medal at the Chelsea Flower Show this week – and received a visit from the Queen.
The Tamata Holdings’ first ever garden exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, Te maara nui o maples (the garden of great maples, was designed by renowned Auckland landscape designer Xanthe White.

35 year old designer Xanthe White and Tamata Holding’s General Manager David Parkes welcomed HRH Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh to the garden on Monday afternoon – after White’s garden was selected by the royals from more than 600 exhibits.

“It was such an honour to present our little garden to the Queen” says White. “She paused after meeting us to admire the Japanese maple trees in the garden, and her minders tried to hurry her along. Before she left she commented on the colours, and said it was ‘lovely’. It made my day”.

It is the second time White has been at the Chelsea Flower Show, and also the second time that her garden has been chosen for the royal walkabout of the show.

“The Chelsea Flower Show is the Olympics of the gardening world, and at the moment I feel a bit like I’ve just run a marathon – but I’m very proud to have been awarded a silver medal and been able to put New Zealand horticulture on the world stage”.

Tamata Holdings specialises in growing Japanese maple trees or Acer palmatum to a mature age for export, and the Chelsea Flower Show has marked the launch of the company in to the UK and European market.

“The Chelsea Flower Show is the ideal place to meet the ‘who’s who’ of the industry” says David Parkes, General Manager of Tamata. “We've been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from RHS officials, media and the horticultural industry. After only a day at the show we have strong business leads. We're thrilled with the garden and very keen to return to the Chelsea Flower Show another year”.

Bob Sweet, The Royal Horticultural Society’s Head of Shows Development, says: “The Tamata maple garden is exquisite. The planting is very atmospheric, and even though it is small, it is of a very high quality. I’ve already said to Xanthe that we’d love to have her back to the Chelsea Flower Show again to do a big show garden, and certainly hope that both Xanthe and Tamata return again next year.”

The show is open to the public from Tuesday 24 until Saturday 28 May, and Tamata will be auctioning off all the plants and donating the money to the Red Cross at the end of the show. White was in Christchurch, building a garden for the 2011 Ellerslie Flower Show, when the quake struck, and says the experience made her appreciate the work of the Red Cross . “Tamata have been very supportive, and its a good opportunity for us to give something back”.

** All plants in Tamata’s garden will be auctioned off, with proceeds to go to the Red Cross. There will be a silent auction during the week, with a live auction on selected lots during sell-off at 4pm on Saturday**.