Monday, September 24, 2012

Container City - Cashell Mall, Christchurch

Last but sooooo not least - Container City in the old Cashell Street Mall. Set up as a way to get business and shoppers back ASAP into the inner city, this area is just wonderful. Vibrant, fresh, with oodles of personality - shipping containers have been remodelled into the most incredible spaces for the brave shops and cafes to do business from. LOVED IT!

Euphorbia, Lavender, Heuchera in instant containers. Loved these.

Clever container gardens that can easily be replenished with fresh plants

One of several cafes designed for outdoor dining

Great idea to disguise ugly poles!

Not sure about all the colours - but definately bright and so fresh

Really comfy and super cool public seating on ready-lawn.

This cafe design could easily be used for a house.
The steel pergola extends the living space enormously.

Three shipping containers. How clever.
This restart shopping centre was right next to our motel, so we spent lots of time loitering around it. I particularly loved the portable planter boxes - surprisingly fitted out with potted plants. So clever. Heuchera, Euphorbia, and Lavender. Creates immediate impact, and of course, can be replenished when the plants fade or flowers are finished. Very clever design. And that design will become more and more apparent with the rebuild. I feel very strongly that this city will be incredibly stunning. What an opportunity to design a new city scape from a virtually blank canvas. WATCH.THIS.SPACE. Go Christchurch! xoxoxo

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Christchurch - Gardens and Trees

The buildings may have been flattened, and life running on a temporary 'normal' for the people, but noticeably, the street trees and botanic gardens are untouched by the earthquakes. Some sanctuary in all the rubble? It was for me.... These are the places I loved as a landscape architecture student. They certainly look as magnificent as ever around Hagley Park in The Garden City.

Sunset through the trees at Botanic Gardens

Wonderful field of Daffodils at the Botanic Gardens

The Avon River
I can't wait to see what landscape designs come out of this blank canvas in the CBD. What an opportunity to start a cityscape from scratch!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Christchurch 2012

Seeing Christchurch for the first time since the devastating earthquakes of February 2 years ago was really sad for me. I lived in and loved Christchurch during my days at Lincoln University (almost too many years ago to count on two hands, plus feet - yikes!). The buildings that formed the core of it's beauty and history are either flattened, or with scaffolding, orange cones, and fences around them. It must be so sad for the residents to see their once beautiful city so scruffy. That's the best way I can think to describe it. No smooth footpaths, no immaculate city council gardens, just security fences and road cones everywhere.

Christchurch Cathedral being dismantled

This ancient house now standing isolated amongst the rubble of
tower blocks was very poignant to me

Church steeples (if they survived) are sitting on the ground beside their church, and once bustling CBD shops are now barren wastelands of cleared rubble. Flat. Sad. Emptiness. The landscape architect in me sees the possibilities of amazing design and public spaces emerging from this flat zone. But for now it is about mourning what once was.
The positve I did notice - this is a chance to admire
 the exquisite beauty and workmanship of these
steeples at a closer range than if they were up on top!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Giants House - Akaroa, NZ

Have just returned from a very special few days in Christchurch with my daughter, Phoebe. The highlight of the trip for both of us was a day trip to Akaroa, visiting the incredible mosaic garden created by artist Josie Martin. Wow. The garden is so exhuberant, so full of the joys of colour and humour. I would totally recommend this as a must-do activity to anyone with a spare day (even half day) in Christchurch. Akaroa itself is well worth staying at, too, with superb restaurants and bars. Just gorgeous! Here are a few (haha) of the photos we took.........
My favourite area

The garden is huge, and mosaic is EVERYWHERE

The Giants House is at the top of a very steep street, so retaining walls are
essential. I can't beleive even the backs of these enormous
sculptures are covered as beautifully as the fronts.

Gorgeous archway of acrobats

Recent work - and sublime colours
Everything is so OTT!!
Love the Tamarillos. The garden plants enhance the art.