Detail counts in garden's gold-medal win

18:52, Feb 25 2014

A confident attitude has paid off for New Plymouth's Sheldon Barnett, who has taken home a gold medal at the Ellerslie Flower Show.

The recently-graduated landscape designer and his friend Jordan Hampson entered the Emerging Design category with their Mexican- themed courtyard.

They won the category and got the Silver Lighting Award.

But it was no siesta: the chairs they imported from Mexico arrived on Friday, the garden wasn't finished until 11.30pm on Sunday and that left Monday morning for some final cleanups.

"It was cutting it a bit fine but we got there in the end," Mr Barnett said.

When the Daily News spoke to Mr Barnett last week he was satisfied they had it in the bag.


"I don't like to compare to others but we were just confident with our design."

It was their attention to detail that clinched it for them, he said.

"All the small things add up, even the screws in the decking.

"We spent nervous hours making sure they were positioned perfectly."

The Student Designer of the Year title can go to only one person, so Mr Hampson will get that because the entry was in his name.

However, they would have a chat about the $5000 prizemoney, Mr Barnett said.

He was content with having the internationally-recognised award on his CV and business cards.

"I'm designing a garden for a family friend in New Plymouth," he said.

"Hopefully I can bump the fees up a bit more."

Taranaki Daily News