Since graduating with the National Certificate in Horticulture, Bayley LuuTomes gardening career has sky rocketed, winning multiple awards for his landscaping designs both nationally and internationally.
From humble beginnings, Bayley and his family began life in New Zealand with no English, only the clothes on their backs and few personal possessions. Most of it was lost over board when their boat was sinking while they were trying to flee their homeland, Vietnam, post-war.
“Although a difficult beginning, coming to New Zealand has given me an amazing opportunity,” says Bayley whose interest in gardening began at a very early age after a family visit to Wellington’s Botanical Gardens soon after their arrival in New Zealand.
Bayley grew up helping his mother with gardening, learning about different plants and flowers and even getting his own patch in the garden to be creative with. This creative side led him to pursue a career in design working in advertising. After a few years Bayley made the decision to leave the world of advertising to follow his dreams of a career in landscaping, he took a job working as a gardener before enrolling in the Open Polytechnic’s National Certificate in Horticulture.
“I was attracted to distance learning as it allowed me to study as well as continue working.”
Bayley graduated in March 2013, the same month he was awarded two gold medals and won Young Designer of the Year at the Ellerslie International Flower Show, marking the start of his success as an award winning landscape designer.
Bayley was the only New Zealander selected to show at Hampton Court Palace Flower show 2013 in London where he won a Silver award for his uniquely kiwi native design. Bayley was also part of a UK team that exhibited at the esteemed Chelsea Flower Show in London a month prior.
In October, he went on to represent New Zealand at the prestigious 2013 Gardening World Cup Flower Show in Nagasaki, Japan where he won silver for his exhibition entitled, Water Bottle Sanctuary, a distinctive fusion of Asian and New Zealand culture.
Bayley’s continued success has led to further opportunities including returning to Ellerslie International Garden Show in 2014 to exhibit his first garden for a charitable organisation, ‘Kids with Arthritis New Zealand’, and with further international opportunities in the works.
Benefits of study
Bayley says his studies gave him the foundation knowledge that has really aided him to be successful as landscaper.
“My studies helped me understand how important the soft landscaping plays in regards to designing a garden. It enabled me to understand how plants work and how best to use plants.”
Bayley would encourage others to study and follow their dreams, no matter your situation or age.
“There have been plenty of benefits for me since I have studied, I used to be a gardener now I run my own business and travel the world designing gardens and the best part is I get to work outdoors!
“If you are thinking about going back to studying, the one thing I can say is don’t be afraid, the time spent now will enable you to follow your dreams later.”