Latest Botanic Gardens feature the first of its kind in NZ

The new crevice gardens at the Botanic Gardens. Photo: Newsline/CCC
The new crevice gardens at the Botanic Gardens. Photo: Newsline/CCC
A unique attraction created before the lockdown is now available for visitors to enjoy at the reopened Christchurch Botanic Gardens.

The crevice gardens are a type of rock garden that uses slabs of stone set vertically and close together to create an environment for alpine, desert and cliff-dwelling plants.

The garden's designer Kenton Seth, who is from the United States, designed and built the new feature in the rock garden area of the Botanic Gardens when he was there in March.

Seth said eventually there would be a “really handsome collection of crevice plants" that will bloom for every month of the year.

“They come from anywhere on the planet where there are rocks so it’s an international buffet of plants," he said.

“They’re like a mini mountain range in a garden, but if they’re built right, they are remarkably low maintenance."

Seth was invited to Christchurch before the Covid-19 lockdown came into force by the New Zealand Alpine Garden Society.

Society members helped him build the garden using Halswell Quarry stone to match what was already there, with plants added at a later date.

Society president Hamish Brown said there is a growing interest in crevice gardens internationally and learning from someone with Seth’s expertise was invaluable.

“Kenton is one of the leading designers in North America and he has created about 40 large scale crevice gardens around the world," he said.

"This is the first of its kind in a New Zealand public garden and gives us an opportunity to plant rare and hard to grow plants that will add a special beauty to the Botanic Gardens.”

Botanic Gardens director Wolfgang Bopp said the collaboration with the society was “a delight”.

“I think this new area, which is part of a refresh of the whole rock garden, will be a unique highlight.”

While the Botanic Gardens are open under alert level 3, the car parks and buildings within the gardens, including the toilets, remain closed.

"We ask that you only visit if you live in the area to limit the number of people, and please maintain a two metre distance from anyone outside of your household," Bopp said.

 

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