Plants in a City Rebuilding

Today was a free day in Christchurch, but we all went together to the city center this morning to see some of the damage to the buildings from the 2010/2011 earthquakes and the slow process of rebuilding. The third anniversary of the catastrophe was observed just a couple of weeks ago with a public memorial […]

Read More...

Great Grasses

This was a long travel day, spent driving for about 8 hours from Queenstown to Christchurch, with a few short stops along the way to break up the journey. We went from rolling hills to pasture lands, over high mountains, and across the pancake-flat Canterbury Plain that has been converted entirely to agriculture. Along many […]

Read More...

Rosy Gardens

Roses do really well in New Zealand. With no extreme heat or cold to contend with (generally), few diseases, and long days during a long growing season they grow large and lush, and are a mainstay of the late summer garden here. In Queenstown there is a nice municipal botanical that includes a large rose […]

Read More...

No Doubts – An Awesome Trip to Doubtful Sound

After several days of cold, wet and windy weather we were delighted when we awoke to calm, sunny conditions. The morning was at leisure, not having to depart Te Anau until late morning. Doubtful Sound is not as accessible as the more well-known Milford Sound which has a road going to it. Getting to Doubtful […]

Read More...

New Zealand’s Only Palm

We are going off on an overnight cruise of Doubtful Sound today, with no internet access in this remote wilderness area. So instead of posting something about the day’s activities after we get back, here’s something early about one of the endemic plants we’ve seen at most of the gardens we’ve visited and as an […]

Read More...

Another Soggy Day in Southland

This morning we were scheduled to visit a private garden in Abbotsford, a suburb of Dunedin. Clouds filled the sky when we got up, with streets streaming with water as the rain poured down, whipped by the wind. It was even worse where we’d been the day before, with high wind warnings out on the […]

Read More...

Cold, Wet & Windy on the Otago Peninsula

This morning we had the pleasure of touring the gardens of Larnach Castle with owner Margaret Baker. She gave us a brief history of the gardens inside the castle this time, rather than standing outside in the elements, as it was rather chilly, a bit windy and threatening rain. Outside we went first to the […]

Read More...

A Detour to Antarctica

Today we were supposed to be visiting the Dunedin Botanic Garden, but because of a flight delay, missed connection, and rebooking on the late afternoon flight instead of the morning flight, we got to spend 8 hours in Christchurch instead. Since we didn’t want to just sit in the airport the whole time, we stowed […]

Read More...

A Subtropical Garden

This morning we visited an unabashedly subtropical garden having nothing to do with plants endemic to New Zealand. Instead it is filled with bromeliads, palms, cycads, and tender succulents from around the world to create a decorative landscape evocative of the tropics. Totara Waters, started in 1999 by Peter and Jocelyn Coyle, is another one […]

Read More...

A New Zealand Country Garden

On the first day of the Master Gardener tour of New Zealand we visited one of the country’s most notable gardens in the countryside east of Auckland. Ayrlies, often described as the “quintessential New Zealand garden” and ranked as a Garden of International Significance, is the masterpiece of Bev McConnell and her late husband Malcolm. […]

Read More...