Wildflowers trial blooming in Garden City

Mother Nature is on show in Christchurch, with wildflowers taking over a small part of Hagley Park and an area near the Antigua Boatsheds.

The trial areas have proved very popular, since an initial 1200sq m area near Calton Corner was sown exclusively with wildflowers in 2021.

Al Hardy, head of community parks at the Christchurch City Council, said the project is the result of repeated requests from members of the public. 

“We’d love to take credit for it.  But we’ve had a number of residents write in and call us and talk to us about doing wildflowers in parks. 

"Some people would like to see entire parks planted up.”

Mr Hardy says the wildflower species were chosen to help attract bees, providing more food for the region’s pollinators.

It's also a potential alternative to mowing recreational grassed areas, and provides a breeding ground for some of the council’s new tree plantings.

“The urban forests plan will see council really increase the number of trees that it plants",  Mr Hardy said. 

"And if we can plant trees amongst areas like this where there is less disturbance, it will give them a real good start.”

 The success of the trials have encouraged the council to look at similar plantings in community parks next Spring.

“We’re keen to hear from the public which parks they would like to see considered for this approach. We’d really like to include parks in different areas of the city”, Mr Hardy said.

"We won't be planting near waterways or other ecologically sensitive areas, but there may be adjacent strips that are currently grassed or areas that have trees we can look at planting beneath or nearby."

- By John Spurdle
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air