Japan theme park to host Gardening World Cup

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The Independent Online

A theme park in southern Japan is to host the second Gardening World Cup over one month from early October, with the organizers aiming to make the event an annual occasion that grows to rival the Chelsea Flower Show.

The first Gardening World Cup competition was staged in October 2010 at Huis Ten Bosch, a theme park based on the recreation of a Dutch village, on the southern island of Kyushu.

Nearby Nagasaki is the hometown of Kazuyuki Ishihara, one of Japan's leading garden designers and winner of a gold medal at the Chelsea show. Ishihara's aim was to help achieve world peace by encouraging people to garden, with the 2010 event marking the 65th anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki.

Some 100,000 people attended the first week of the event, making it so popular that the organizers decided to extend it for a further three months.

This year, the event will commemorate and raise funds for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan.

Sixteen of the world's top designers will be displaying their work this year, drawn from 12 countries, each given the same sized plot in which to create their garden and an identical budget.

The designers will include Australia's Jim Fogarty, winner of a gold medal at Chelsea earlier in 2011, and John Cullen, of the US, who has won Best in Show awards at both the Chicago and Philadelphia flower shows, as well as at the Singapore Garden Festival.

David Davidson will be representing South Africa and looking to add to his tally of 14 gold medals from Chelsea, as well as Britain's Sarah Eberle, winner of nine gold medals at Chelsea and two George Cooke medals for innovation.

Nico Wissing of the Netherlands, Jonathan Denby of Britain, Italy's Jo Thompson and Lim in Chong of Malaysia, will also be competing in the Show Gardens category, alongside Japanese entrants Ryoji Fujiwara and Kazuyuki Ishihara.

The seven entrants in the Courtyard Gardens competition will be representing Switzerland, China, Japan, France and Vietnam.

Dates: October 8 to November 6, 2011.

Venue: Huis Ten Bosch, 1-1 Huis Ten Bosch-cho, Sasebo City, Nagasaki 859-3292. Tel. +81 570 064 110.

Further information: http://www.gardeningworldcup.com/ and info@gardeningworldcup.com