Lu­uTomes wins in Sin­ga­pore

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

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.

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