The gates of the Waikato Home and Garden Show are set to open for a record number of exhibitors at 10am today.
More than 400 will be selling their wares at the 28th show, which runs at the Claudelands Events Centre until Sunday, a significant jump from the usual 380, organiser Graham Hannah said.
"It's the biggest show by exhibitor numbers ever."
One hundred staff employed by Mr Hannah and his daughter Rebecca worked alongside exhibitors yesterday putting the finishing touches on their exhibits after nearly two weeks of setting up.
Among the exhibitors was Richard Boobyer, one of the competitors on the TV3 show The Block, who was completing his entry in the New Zealand Landscape Design Awards.
Mr Boobyer, 25, held up the laying of a brick path yesterday as a crane lowered in an outdoor fireplace at the centre of his garden, themed Oh, So Modern.
Mr Boobyer chose the show as a place to launch his new landscape design business, Richard Landscape.
"Coming from The Block in September, I decided to get going and get organised at the home show to get a lot of exposure for the new business."
He has been working for similar businesses in the city, but wants to design.
"It's a good time to get it done," he said.
The centrepiece of this year's show, with the largest display area, is a home of the future outfitted with Smeg kitchen appliances, a kitchen table with a large Samsung tablet embedded in it and a wall of Samsung television sets offering information about the exhibit.
Rachel Louie, managing director of Smeg importer Applico, said the 600- square-metre display area the company had taken with half a dozen other exhibitors was double the size of previous years.
She didn't see herself in the home appliance business.
"We are in the fashion business," she said as she pointed to a limited-edition refrigerator covered in denim.
"It's one of 500 in the world and costs $7000," she said.
Veteran landscaper and horticulturist Graeme Burton is speaking daily in the Weekend Gardener Seminar Series, as is Ross Tucker on orchids, Ching Lester on bromeliads, Mike Alspatch on lavenders and Trevor McIlroy of The Rose Society.
The show, open at 10am today until 6pm, is also open 10am-10pm tomorrow (Friday), and 10am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Adults $15, children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult, senior citizens $8.
- Waikato Times