LuuTomes wins in Singapore
Bayley LuuTomes continues to rack up the awards.
The Tawa-raised landscape designer teamed up with South African-born Leon Kluge to represent New Zealand at the Singapore Garden Festival last month.
Their garden, ‘‘Back to Nature’’, was awarded gold for garden design and won best in show for its outdoor lighting display.
LuuTomes said the biennial festival was the largest international garden show in Asia and showcased creations from the world’s top garden and floral designers.
‘‘It attracts more than 300,000 visitors and sets new trends, introduces new plants and inspires gardeners,’’ he said.
LuuTomes and Kluge were up against entrants from as far afield as the UK, Australia, Japan, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and the USA.
If building a garden in nine days while exposed to tropical weather wasn’t tough enough, the pair decided to grow most of their plants from seeds.
‘‘We wanted to give our garden a soft meadow feel and tropical plants weren’t going to work,’’ LuuTomes said.
‘‘We sent seeds over from New Zealand, South Africa and Eng- land to Singapore five months in advance. We found a local nursery who would grow them for us, but had no guarantee they would grow. We didn’t have a plan B.’’
The 100sqm garden had many construction challenges. Installing 7 metres of ready-lawn in one piece without tearing it was a heart-stopping moment when the crane was hovering.
‘‘We couldn’t bear to look. We were afraid the roll of lawn would fall on top of the garden,’’ LuuTomes said. ’’There were some hairy moments and I couldn’t relax until the last concrete slab went down.’’
Personal touches like the custom-designed finger print water sculpture and the handmade garden chandeliers gave the garden a fresh and innovative look and wowed the judges.
LuuTomes first made waves in 2013 with a rooftop garden at the Ellerslie International Flower Show that won a slew of awards for design, construction and lighting.
Later that year he exhibited at the prestigious Hampton Court Flower Show and represented New Zealand at the Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki in 2014, picking up a silver medal.
Bayley LuuTomes, front, and Leon Kluge take a moment from their preparation at the Singapore Garden Festival.