Peace award for Kiwi gardener
Waikanae landscape artist Ben Hoyle has won a peace award at the Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki.
He was one of 10 international garden designers invited to take part in the inaugural cup in Japan this month.
Mr Hoyle's A Moment in Time garden was created as a memorial to the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki, which resulted in the deaths of more than 70,000 people.
A large black clock depicts the date and time the bomb landed. Mr Hoyle said a question mark on a second clock represented the question "while there are atomic bombs on the planet, will this ever happen again?"
Banners flanking a long, formal pool containing water dyed black displayed messages of peace.
An image of a dove at the end of the pool was made of 20 cogs that turned electronically to reveal the peace symbol.
Mr Hoyle said he was delighted to have won the peace award.
"There were people who had been affected by the bomb crying in front of the exhibit. The garden seeks to illustrate that, as individuals, each of our actions must work together for a common good."
A tea house included in the exhibit represented the need for communication to prevent a similar disaster.
Japanese designer Kazuyuki Ishihara, who conceived the event, invited him to take part.
Visiting the Peace Park and Atomic Museum in Nagasaki in June made a lasting impression on Mr Hoyle. "I was very affected by it. It made it very real to us, [and was] very sobering in terms of what it [the bombing] meant to them."
His garden won a gold medal as well as the peace prize.
Mr Boyle has won seven awards in the Ellerslie Flower Show, three golds, two silvers and two bronze.
He is now working on his next entry for Ellerslie after returning from Japan last week.
The Dominion Post