Nelsonian Jordan Hampson's Mexican-inspired courtyard has won him a top award at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch.
Mr Hampson, a student at Wintec in Hamilton, has been named Student of the Year in the 2014 Lexus Emerging Designs competition.
Nine entrants were asked to design and build a courtyard garden with an international theme for a recent migrant.
He created a sun-soaked courtyard celebrating the client's Mexican heritage, while embracing the essence of New Zealand summer living.
The judges said successfully reflecting the fusion of cultures in a garden design was no easy task, and Mr Hampson's work stood out because of an exceptional use of colour combined with innovative design elements to create a vibrant and comfortable outdoor space.
The judges said his creation was reminiscent of the client's home country while still exuding a subtle yet evocative New Zealand flavour.
The competition is open to all landscape, design and horticulture students, and provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate their design flair. In recent years it has been a career launch pad for many young designers.
The Christchurch City Council's botanic gardens team won the Judges' Supreme Award.
The Hort Galore entry, Burn After Reading, won the Supreme Design award and a gold medal in its category - one of 15 awarded at this year's show.
Chief judge Andy Sturgeon said the panel of three judges were split on awarding the Supreme Award.
He said the judging panel could find nothing wrong with the winning entry, and liked it because it did not require a long-winded pamphlet to explain it.
Sally Brown won the Supreme Horticultural Excellence Award for her garden, Passion, which included more than 100 pink plant varieties.
Last year's top emerging designer, Bayley LuuTomes, won the Supreme Lighting Award.
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