Crowds flock to Ellerslie International Flower Show opening   10 Mar 2010

ENTERTAINMENT - About 12,000 visitors enjoyed the opening day of this year's Ellerslie International Flower Show in North Hagley Park, Christchurch.

Show visitors queued from 8am, waiting in anticipation for the gates to open at 10am and were not disappointed with the gardens, said Ellerslie International Flower Show Director Dave Mee.

" 'Absolutely fantastic', 'the best Ellerslie Flower Show ever' and 'it's been an amazing day, I will be back' were among the comments from visitors as they left weary at the end of several hours enjoying the gardens, horticultural exhibits and entertainment."

He said with today's crowds, the Show was expecting visitor numbers for the week to be about 60,000. "This is where we anticipated numbers would settle after the excitement generated in the first year and an unprecedented audience of 79,000 visitors.

"It was great to hear people saying they were having a fantastic experience; they loved the fact the queues are all but gone, the traffic management problems have been resolved and there were plenty of food and beverage outlets and lots of seating."

Mr Mee said the Starlight Marquee was a visitor favourite, people flocking to the marquee to see the triple-award winning Christchurch Botanic Gardens exhibit. The exhibit won Gold, a Gold Lighting Award and took out the Judges Supreme Award.

Described by the judges as having "stolen the show", the exhibit is a display of the plant kingdom in light, sound, movement and texture, bringing together elements of sensory inspiration. Using plant materials associated with natural decay, the garden demonstrates nature's ability to reuse and recycle.

Other Show favourites were the three Gold medal winning gardens, by multi award-winning Chelsea Flower Show designer Chris Beardshaw, award-winning Japanese designer Koji Ninomiya and All Black halfback Andy Ellis and his mate Danny Kamo from John Marsh Landscape Architects.

The Ellerslie International Flower Show runs till Sunday 14 March and open daily from 10am to 7pm, expect Sunday when the Show closes at 6pm.



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