Friday Milo and I went to Hagley park for a few hours, the big central park in Christchurch that sports extensive botanical gardens and a lovely section of spring daffodils growing under tall beech trees. Milo smells flowers by blowing on them. The gardens were a lovely way to spend the 4 hours we had to kill waiting for the hitch to be installed on the car.
This “cabbage tree” is a signature New Zealand plant. Doesn’t look much like a cabbage to me, but Maori used to dig up the roots, grind them, dry them and eat them. That was before Europeans brought potatoes which were much easier to cultivate, cook and store. When my NZ plant encyclopedia arrives with all our stuff I’ll learn the plant family to which it belongs. Somehow knowing the plant family makes the world seem friendly and familiar.
Along with the daffodils are rows and rows of blooming cherry trees. Spring flowers seem to last a long time here, a perk of the weather is still pretty cool still. I thought Jeremiah’s colleague was just out of touch 6 weeks ago when he said the daffodils would be peaking in about 6 weeks (they were already starting then), but he was right.
Will I ever get enough of these luxurious ferns? Probably not. I love the new baby fronds coming up. They’re enormous, it’s like a nest of dinosaur eggs.
Milo really appreciated all the New Zealand native plants neatly labeled in the botanical garden. He found the stroll very relaxing.
Hi Molly (Jeremiah and Milo), I’m glad you found some gardens to stroll through. I’m with Milo. I find them very relaxing (though I’ve never fallen asleep in one). Did you get the trailer hitch on your car to haul your shipped belongings home? I hope so.
We sure did get that hitch on the car, so now we can buy compost and pick up pallets from the side of the road (did that Saturday). Flower boxes will get started this week!
Hi Molly, we are thoroughly enjoying your blog/journey and seeing photos of some of the wonderful sights we missed on our honeymoon in New Zealand years ago (we were too busy visiting farms, if you can believe that). When you lamented some of the downsides of life in NZ I reflected on some of our happy discoveries there, which included a culture of appreciation for plants that transcends commercial farming. From the most remote and rural areas to the cities, even the smallest yards were planted to well cared for perennials (with little or no lawn). We also appreciated the cleanliness, green-ness, and very noticeable absence of “in your face advertising” on roadsides, buildings and convenience stores. Another favorite memory was visiting an urban park built upon an ancient volcano and seeing cow pies on the long sidewalk that spiraled its way to the top of the mountain. How practical to graze and recycle those grasses, and refreshing to be in a country that enjoys better health than the U.S. without its overblown fear of feces.