This was a 2 person entry for a National Designer Competition. Potential entrants had to submit a drawing of their design indicating plant material that would be used and a committee selected the designers to be invited to participate (a total of 10 designs). The design was to be in place for four days. In size it is 2m high x 1m square.

I entered this with a friend who has been competing alongside me for many years. We live a long distance from each other so relied on emails and text messages to finally agree on the design to be submitted. We were successful in being invited to compete – a bonus as the judge was international master florist Gregor Lersch.

As I have access to tools and space on the farm, I built the structure along with some help from my dad and brother.

The bases are “Besser” blocks, a lightweight garden wall material that can be drilled although it does have a tendency to crumble. Holes for the upright supports (plastic pipe) were drilled and plumbing sleeves used to ensure stability of the pipe in the block. These were then painted the same colour as the staging (grey). It is a good idea to have the exact match of paint colour – all important competitions will tell you in the schedule what the paint colour is for the staging.

Our idea was to have the design give you a sense of looking through a spinning kaleidescope. Three rings of wire mesh and heavy fencing wire were constructed to slip on to the pole supports.

Each of the rings has the same plant material, with different positioning to create the feeling of spinning as you would do with a hand held kaleidescope.

As the design was to be on show for four days, we used plant material that did not need a water source. Japanese washi paper in green and orange has been ripped randomly to fill in some gaps in the plant material. Autumn leaves have been rolled and glued for more colour.

What I learned about myself in this exercise is that I work better alone. We both got immersed in what we were doing with not much communication. Afterwards we agreed that, in fact, we both work better alone but it had been an enjoyable experience nontheless to collaborate for once.

This design did not place.

Judges Comments: The design shows some excellent craftsmanship and has a feel of looking at a kaleisdescope.

It is not colourful enough – much more vibrant colours could have significantly enhanced this design.

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