Flowers win Ellerslie's People's Choice award

Display of 100 pink plants wins People's Choice

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 17:19 28/02/2014
Sally Brown
Dean Kozanic

PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Sally Brown, hoarse from three days of talking about her award-winning garden Passion.

Ellerslie Flower Show gates open
John Kirk-Anderson/Fairfax NZ Zoom
KEEN VISTORS: A crowd gathers ahead of Ellerslie Flower Show gates opening this morning.

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The power of pink has won the love of Ellerslie Flower Show visitors with Sally Brown's garden Passion crowned People's Choice this year.

Last year, the public asked for more flowers in the city's biggest garden show.

Landscape designer Sally Brown answered that call and delivered more than 100 varieties of pink plants in a 10-square metre plot in North Hagley Park.

The People's Choice award is voted by show visitors and the public. Votes were made online and at the show over the first three days.

Brown said it was nice to be recognised for the horticultural effort it took to present the display.

''My garden was a response to what was lacking at Ellerslie last year,'' she said. ''It's nice to get People's Choice because it's what the people wanted.''

Brown spent months ensuring all 100-plus plants would be flowering for the week of the show. Pink tulips were shipped from Europe and refrigerated for months.

''It's been so worth it and we've had so much fun with it,'' she said.

This afternoon, Brown was hoarse from three days spent chatting with admirers at the show and explaining what went into the garden.

Show manager Kate Hillier said the award was well-deserved.

''I had a strong suspicion all along,'' she said. ''It was a real crowd-pleaser.''

Brown also collected a silver medal for the exhibition garden.

Today's award was made in the rain after an afternoon of showers and southerly winds.

However, show managing director Dave Mee said the bad weather had held off long enough ticket sales would not be too badly impacted.

''It didn't smash us today,'' he said. ''It's not doom and gloom, but it does have an impact.''

He said on-site retailers selling ponchos and umbrellas had done very well out of the rain. The weather was expected to clear today and remain fine tomorrow.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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