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New Zealand’s Best Garden

Our series on New Iconic Gardens of the 21st Century has been very popular as we expand our search across the UK, USA and Scandinavia. Our next port of call is New Zealand and Ben Hoyle, one of the country’s finest and best known Garden Designers. We asked Ben some questions ahead of his presentation on 1st November.

When did you get your first garden or landscape moment, when you knew you wanted to become part of the industry?

I’ve always had a love for plants, something I inherited from my Mum. Growing up in rural NZ she was always in the garden and I was probably not that far behind her! In my mid-teens there was only one gardening programme on TV called Maggie’s Garden Show and it was here I was exposed to an array of new plants, inspirational designer gardens and the Ellerslie Flower Show. I was hooked by all the wonderful gardens and the realisation I could make a fabulous career doing something I loved.

What’s the biggest challenge we’re facing now from our industry perspective (nationally or internationally)?

Like the rest of the world we are definitely facing environmental challenges here in NZ. We’ve just come out of the wettest winter on record and for the first time in my career I’m seeing many well-established trees dying from the fluctuating water table and unseasonable temperatures. This also brings new plant pathogens and can take certain plants off the menu.

Who inspires you in landscape in New Zealand today?

Inspiration for me is mostly found in the natural environment. I live on the Kapiti Coast and within a small geographical area we are lucky to be surrounded by rivers, forested mountains and the sea and the observation of how plants both native and exotic interact with one another really informs how these relationships work (or don’t!).

You can catch Ben’s webinar on 1st November live from New Zealand which means we’ll be broadcasting at 8am in the morning. Start your day for just £8 with all proceeds going to charity. Visit our Short Courses page for more details.