Monday, March 10, 2014

Otari-Wilton's Bush, Wellington

I have just had a lovely weekend in Wellington with some of my family. After dining at Logan Brown, we went to the fabulous concert of Solo Mio - 3 opera-singing Samoan Nzers - '2 tenors and a baritone'. Wow! Fabulously entertaining concert. A wonderful experience all around. They are travelling NZ this month, and sooo worth going to if you can still get tickets.

Next day we visited a native botanic garden called 'Otari-Wilton's Bush'. I am ashamed to say this is the first time I had ever been, and I am so thrilled I have finally experienced it. Not only are there natural stands of ancient trees and lush ferns to walk amongst, but well-designed formal and informal gardens as well, all utilising an amazing array of native plants. If you are even vaguely interested in our native plants, then this is well worth a visit, just to see how the plants can be combined to create stunning small garden scenes, as well as the more naturalistic style we try and replicate in larger areas.
Stunningly simple planting scheme that looks very effective from a distance, or up close
Clipped into balls - hebes, pittosporum, and horopito were fabulous
These reeds were very sculptural in the water
I loved the mass planting of ferns and rengarenga lilies under the kauri trees near the entry
There are various distances and tracks you can follow, from the main entry
car park off Wilton Road 
A grove of lancewoods (Psuedopanex ferox) make a stunning impact
There is an information centre, and a fabulous canopy walk - a board-walk up high above the mature trees (see pictures below). That was my favourite place - looking down on huge tree ferns (ponga), and being at eye height with the tui and kereru. Just stunning.
The canopy walk does just what it says - gets you up high amongst the tree canopies
Detail on the canopy walk entry pou 
Tapestry  of tree ferns seen from above.
Eye-height with a tui
Interpretation signs help tell the story
Only about a 10 minute drive from the CBD. Shame on you if you live in Wellington and have never been!! Assuming that if you are reading my blog, then you must have at least a vague interest in gardens!! There was a 45 minute circuit you could take, or just poke your nose in and walk across the canopy walk. I will go back again, but with more time, so I can explore more thoroughly. Just fabulous, and right on Wellington's doorstep. Well worth a visit, and just another outstanding aspect of Wellington's array of attractions.

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