July 26, 2009

Beautiful Sunday in Christchurch Botanic Gardens

"The Garden City" of Christchurch has the most wonderful Botanic Gardens, and today, while it was warm and sunny, we abandoned the housework and met my my parents there for a walk. We even saw the first daffodils - and I hear that spring is coming in 38 days!!!!

Also look here - good article about it with some great pictures.

We had a coffee at the lovely Curator's Cottage...

We even had a cat for company :) The one at the back... not my mothers's fur hat!

We strolled past the turquoise and yellow Peacock Fountain, originally made in England from cast iron, and shipped over here about 1911. It has a history - here

I don't know what it looked like originally, but it does have an interesting colour scheme - and we were wondering about it today! So tonight I found this.
The Peacock Fountain was returned to the Botanic Gardens in 1996 with an improved pipe system and a new colour scheme. A local artist W.A Sutton was consulted by the committee on possible colours. However the final choice did not leave everyone happy. Some interesting responses were given in the letters to The Press, the fountain was described as looking "like a refugee from a confectioner's nightmare." The new colour scheme was blamed for "cause(ing) flu-like symptoms when looked upon." There was also the statement that "The new colour coding of the fountain has a closer cultural relationship to a nouveau riche garden in Bangkok

The other fountain I like is this one... hard to get a photo, but it is a lovely peaceful spot.

and because it is an area of special significance to my partner's family, here is another view of the trees behind it that were planted by Phoebe's mothers ancestors.


We also called in at the information centre... I had never really thought about how all the plants from England arrived here but we found this display showing how they shipped them over. Certainly, much of the flora here is not NZ native bush so the settlers certainly started all this off!

Founded in 1863 with the planting of an English Oak tree, the Gardens now features one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants found in New Zealand.
(That oak tree was planted to celebrate the wedding of Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra of Denmark. )

There are some unusual plants in the gardens... amazing how many of them resembled cabbages!



  1. it feels like I am walking along with you and seeing the same beauty!! thank you for sharing this wonderful sights..
    it's been raining here the whole day and i am holed up at home doing the ironing - as usual, hahaha!!

  2. What delightful photographs!

    I can't help thinking, though, how the British colonists took their homeland with them to New Zealand. Looking at the buildings, for instance, I could so easily be looking at an English town :-)

  3. Lovely photographs Fi. I'm excited because Autumn is on it's way here! My favourite season....xxx

  4. I agree with the critiques of the fountain makeover. I think it belongs at a Chinese cultural center.

  5. New Zealand is an incredibly beautiful country!

  6. Thanks :)
    And Ro - you are right - this is a very "English" city full of oaks, and Willows and English plants... and the buildings are very much styled on the old country!
    Dunedin is very Scottish...

    That building you can see is the original university, now used as an Arts Centre, as the uni moved further out of the centre some years ago.
    Beautiful heritage spot!
    And yes - the fountain does appear to be in the style of Chinese objects....

  7. I likey this post, gorgeous aspects hun.One useless piece of information is those in Hospital on the Riverside get a glorious view of the park from their wards.

    I agree with the Chinese reference. I have a inner belief that the guy who came up with the colour scheme may have been on shrooms.

  8. It looks a lovely place - I had a friend from New Zealand many years ago - she told me what a beautiful city Christchurch is - your photos make it real.

  9. Perhaps the cat was nearsighted and thought that your mother's hat was a possible companion?

    I do believe those plants actually ARE a type of cabbage, or a relative of cabbage, although I don't know how edible they may be. I recall seeing similar in a display before and asking a person more knowledgeable than I concerning them. Or, perhaps, he was just as ignorant as I, and I was bamboozled :-)

  10. This is really impressive, thanks for sharing these beautiful shots.

    CJ xx

  11. What a beautiful place. It is very impressive. Glad yo had a good time.


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