Work of art, by accident

The owner of Wanaka's green and brown-patterned lawn, Paul Currie, of Christchurch, says he likes...
The owner of Wanaka's green and brown-patterned lawn, Paul Currie, of Christchurch, says he likes to think of it as having a Polynesian look. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
Businessman Paul Currie was in a hurry.

He was at his holiday home in Rata St, Wanaka, about to head home to Christchurch.

The new lawn was looking great, he thought.

Just those broadleafs.

Perhaps he should give them a quick spray before he left.

That was a month ago.

Then the phone calls started - from neighbours who wondered if the brown marks appearing in his green lawn might have been caused by vandals.

That got Paul thinking.

He had bought four new sprays for various purposes and had reached into the cupboard for the one recommended for broadleaf weeds.

But then, he remembered, he had not actually been wearing his glasses at the time.

The penny dropped.

Instead of using a herbicide for broadleaf only, he had accidentally used a broad-spectrum herbicide containing glyphosate - good for any grass that needs to be turned from green and healthy to brown and dead.

Mr Currie, who is managing director of TMC Trailers Ltd, told the Otago Daily Times yesterday he was only now able to talk about his lawn.

Getting it to a state of bowling green perfection had been the finishing touch to a house-building project that began about five years ago.

A philosophical Mr Currie said having the Wanaka house had been very beneficial for him and wife Larraine as they ''de-quaked'' after the Christchurch earthquake.

Rebuilding of their badly damaged Christchurch home had still not started and Mr Currie agreed that, as catastrophes go, his lawn was at the minor end of the scale.

He has been advised to leave it to see what happens in the spring.

As for the residents of residential Rata St, they are wondering if parking meters or traffic wardens might be required.

Alan McKay, who lives opposite, says the lawn has become a new drive-by tourist attraction and he is waiting for a nose-to-tail crash.

He has declined Mr Currie's offer to pop over to deal with his broadleaf, and wonders if Mr Currie's experience might be the perfect advertisement for anyone in the business of selling glasses.

Add a Comment