Xanthe White’s guide to growing silverbeet
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Student becomes a master
Rachael, a student at Weltec and owner of Hedge Garden Design and Nursery, won the title with her exhibit, Gone to Seed. The contemporary design of a modern, yet sustainable garden showcases plants that have gone to seed.
Rachael said the inspiration for the garden came from her mother’s own veggie patch, which tended to run wild at this time of year. She began growing the vegetables for the garden in November.
“(It was) nerve-wrecking with the weather, and then working out how to transport my larrikin lettuces from Wellington to Christchurch without the beets behaving badly, a broccoli rebellion or a full-scale mustard mutiny!”
Veggies aside, the garden is packed with innovative ideas including space-saving layouts for growing fruit on walls, an underground composting system which doubles as a boardwalk between the beds, and DIY bean frames made form sculptural flax flowers, alliums, bull rushes and toetoes.
Lead judge of the Emerging Design Category, Renee Davies, said Rachael’s garden stood out due to its innovative design.
“Everything was done in such a way that was simplistic and had great clarity. The construction was outstanding, the detail impeccable and there was a real beauty in the way the theme manifests in the plant quality.”
She praised Rachael’s use of materials and how everything growing in the garden had gone to seed, reflecting the mature stage of the clients dream: to live “the good life”.
When young designers are given a brief to design a garden, said Renee, many can overdo it; however this was not the case with Rachel’s design.
“What was clear with Rachael’s design is that she didn’t put in what wasn’t needed and showed real clarity; that is what made it stand out.”
Emerging Designs/Student Designer of the Year 2012 Competition Results:
Rachael Matthews (Weltec): Gold & Student Designer of the Year
Katrina Pinnington (Design & Arts College): Silver Distinction
Sheldon McNamara (Weltec): Silver
Ben Saywell, Darryl Johnston, Kate McDougall, Lachlan Munro, Lauren Lee and Lucy Magill (CPIT): Silver
Kyle Lewis & Richard Lorgelly (CPIT): Bronze
Danilyn Green (Design & Arts College): Bronze
Fleur Mar (Weltec): Merit