Even vegetative, Cleo still has it

By Craig Borley

An Egyptian queen made from vegetables and a native coastal dune-edged backyard have taken the big prizes at the Auckland Flower Show.

Entering its second day today, the Alexandra Park show features 31 garden displays, 21 floral displays and over 100 trade stalls. By the show's end it is expected some 65,000 people will have passed through the gates.

The judges announced their winners yesterday, with a classic beach-backed garden taking the major "Best in Show" award.

Called Moved by Tides, it was designed by the Bay of Plenty's Landscape Design Company. Designers Trish Waugh and Sue Peachey said they had chosen unusual and endangered plants for the garden, plants that were important for New Zealand's sand dune restoration.

The other major winner, Cleopatra, which shared the Best Designer of the Year award with Landscape Design Company, was rather different.

Crowds gawped at the life-size model of Cleopatra, lazing back on a chaise longue while being fanned by a life-sized boy-servant.

Every detail, from the mashed potato water fountain to cabbage-seed lips, was made from edible plants.

The complete list of winners:

* Best Lighting: Inovo/Ecosmart - Living Outside the Ordinary. Lighting Design: The Garden Lighting Company.

* Best Horticultural Exhibit: Cleopatra. The Vege People, Taupaki.

* AFS Green Award for Best in Show: Meat & 2 Veg. Design: Angelique Lamberman (Newmarket) in association with Lynn Cairney for Manukau City Parks.

* Best Designer of the Year - Joint Award: Moved by Tides. Design: Landscape Design Company, Katikati; Cleopatra. Design: Julena Moors, Taupaki.

* Judges' Best in Show: Moved by Tides.

- NZ Herald

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