September 12, 2009

Christchurch, The Garden City, Spring Fever

Yesterday was one of those golden days where we had a rare afternoon off together and met up at the beautiful Christchurch Botanic gardens for coffee... a beautiful place that holds many memories for us both. In full spring glory, the daffodils and blossom are at their best... and I often drive through the centre of the park where the trees line the road with this blossom. Finally, our trees are bursting into green again!!!!
Catching blossom...

The magnolia walk - taking a close up picture - see next shot

Enjoying the warmth, we headed towards the beautiful ponds that I used to take the children to visit and watch the goldfish. Or are they Carp! A journey round the gardens is usually a feast for the nose.. and yesterday was no exception. As we approached the water, there was a strong smell of chlorine; so strong I was trying to work out which flowers were producing the smell! Certainly wasn't the magnolias nearby. The smell eased as we stood by the pond, but the water was crystal clear, bubbling from a fountain, and with no plants or algae... hmmm.

Further on we explored the other pond, where there used to be lots of fish, and on a hot day, they would bask on the surface near the bridge.... sadly, we only saw one, and it seemed to have lost its tail fins, moving sluggishly. Not sure what is going on there! It is such a beautiful place.. should still be lots of fish there.

As we walked round, we were this time struck by the strong smell of pesticide... and we were discussing that the smells were all man made chemicals! At the next large bush, two young men were lounging round; the pesticide had not worked - there was a strong smell of "weed".... we managed to keep straight faces.

On the final part of the pool circuit, this romantic looking couple were busy texting on their phones all the time we were there... sad!!!!!

It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of ducklings everywhere...which is one thing that makes me feel like spring has really arrived. In the rivers there were eels and trout so whatever damage has happened to the other fish ponds, it was certainly not evident anywhere else, which was a relief :)
I will leave you with a picture of Saffy... the cigar like object in her mouth is a dental chew bar... which she adores and usually races out to demolish in record time. Today, we could not let her outside as the gate was still open, so she sat and looked at us, salivating madly, worried we might tell her off for eating on the carpet... had to take a picture! Her Winston Churchill look :)


  1. wow, i would love to take a walk around the same garden where flora and fauna abound. the sights and sounds tends to relax you and invigorates the senses, no? that couple busy texting didn't realized what they are missing!! or maybe,(i want to believe this) they were texting their friends to come and enjoy the same scenery as they do.
    have a good weekend, Fi!

  2. Lovely pictures, it's a tragedy that chemicals have to be used to keep things looking 'nice' or in the case of the weed 'feeling' nice! xxx

  3. Fi,

    Thank you for visiting me, more than once, at Halfway To France, and for having listed my blog in your blog roll. That is very high praise, indeed.

    I like it that you contrasted the different points on your nature walk with various activities being engaged in by the human beings that you encountered along the way--poisoning the environment in the name of making it more beautiful (that's a bit like all those poor women primping their faces with lead-based powder--lord help us all), texting instead of talking or making out, etc.

    My most recent harangue along these lines was sparked upon arriving in the little, only minorly chemically polluted, old house in France to find that someone had left no fewer that three of those toxic "air fresheners" sprinkled through out the place. S/he was no doubt being "thoughtful" although there could hardly be a more flagrant contradiction in intention and consequences--my nose, eyes, and lungs all recoil in horror upon smelling those things--not due to the fragrance per se, although that is bad enough, but due to the fact that those products are made from chemicals that are poisonous--like your sea slugs--and no one seems to be paying the slightest bit of attention. They have banned smoking almost everywhere (I am not now, nor have I ever been a smoker) but I had a MAN behind me in the hypermarché yesterday buying replacement cartridges of that liquid chemical poison for his "air freshener" holder at home!!!!!

    Worse yet, I went to the doctor's office two days ago and within a few minutes was able to determine that he had one of the torture tools installed there that uses a battery-powered motor to expel a puff of poison fragrance into the confined space, without renewed oxygen, of his office. Talk about migraines in the making!!!

    Please forgive the blather about poisons, but your post put me in mind of the latest and most superficially insidious on the market. Before one only had to avoid women in elevators or concert halls who had bathed in Channel #5, now one must avoid one's neighborhood doctor's office.

    All kevetching aside, I hope that you have a lovely day in New Zealand and thank you again for your comment and your visits Halfway To France.


  4. Beautiful pictures, wish I was well enough to come visit one day!

  5. Its so funny that your talking about spring. Last night we noticed how dark it was at 8pm. Winter is just round the corner.

  6. Happy for you that it's Spring. I love the different seasons, but after a long winter just a bit of colour and sunshine can do you good!
    Maybe the romantic couple were texting each other? Some lovely photos there. The Winston Churchill one made me LOL. As long as she doesn't light it... ;-)

  7. Christchurch in the spring is one of my favourite places!

  8. Hi, there is minimal chemical use in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and ponds and waterways do not have any chemical treatment aside from chorine in the children’s paddling pool. The waterways are all natural and unfortunately natural predators, eels, cormorants, (shags), Herons, and ducks attack the fish reducing there populations so please enjoy the spaces provided.

  9. Thanks Anonymous :) I wondered about the birds taking the fish - seems to be an issue with goldfish ponds too... but the pond does smell strongly of chlorine! Can't help the weed killers - got to keep the place under some control to show the plants - and it was still as beautiful and peaceful, as ever.


Comments welcome....always love to hear what you think!


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