Takapuna’s Franca Logan of Florienne was 'on cloud nine' at the awards presentation on the evening prior to the opening of the 2018 New Zealand Flower and Garden Show. She and her team not only won a gold medal award – they also won the Show's ‘Special Feature’ award.
Franca’s 18-metre long floral display (which event organisers say is the largest hanging floral display at any New Zealand garden show) was suspended from the roof of The Trust’s Arena. Called ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’, it created for visitors to the show a dreamy, tranquil moment of cloud-gazing. A rosewood bench positioned under the display (supplied by Grant Wilson of Taniwha Tales) allowed visitors to take a break underneath the floral artwork.
In describing her display, Franca said: “I remember flying home. As the plane started to descend through the clouds there were intermittent glimpses of a beautiful place with trees and abundant nature, a hidden paradise. There were moments of transparency, layered shroud was being lifted as we descended… This was the inspiration for this design, coming home to our place: Aotearoa – New Zealand - Land of the Long White Cloud.
“The flowers and foliage, all in white, are all New Zealand grown. Among them are flowers such as gypsophila, alstroemerias, orchids, peonies, roses, delphiniums, lilies, lisianthus, statice and a few garden treasures. Chicken wire, yarn, wool and cotton muslin create the veil-like transparency of the clouds and house the hundreds of tubes and vases which are the water sources for the flowers.”
After the announcement of the win, Franca said: "A huge thank you to all of our amazing sponsors, the Florienne team and the floristry students from MIT. We couldn’t have done it without you all!”
The exhibits were judged by a panel of horticultural experts and the awards were announced on the evening prior to the show opening, on Tuesday 27 November.