About the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch city, New Zealand
Eleanor Wilks, New Zealand
Central entrance to the Botanical Gardens
Flowerbeds are ideally maintained by the gardeners
Not far from the city centre: a small street, leading to Botanical Gardens
A small grove of ship pine-trees
The lawns get their haircut regularly - once a week
Christchurch was officially settled by the British in 1850. These pioneering settlers brought with them the gardening traditions of their homeland. It was just thirteen years after their arrival that the initial plans were made to form the present Botanic Gardens.
On 9 July 1863, an English oak tree was planted in the Gardens to commemorate the marriage of the English monarch, Queen Victoria's eldest son Prince Albert Edward to Princess Alexandra of Denmark. This is regarded as the foundation date of the Botanic Gardens.
Control of the Botanic Gardens was until 1946 vested in the Christchurch Domains Board. Due to financial difficulties the government dissolved the Board and placed control and funding under the jurisdiction of the Christchurch City Council. Today responsibility for the management of the Gardens is with the Botanical Services Team of the Greenspace Unit, Christchurch City Council.
The grounds of the Botanic Gardens encompass an area of 30 hectares (74 acres), the majority of this being within a loop of the Avon River. Until 1863, the Gardens were largely natural wetlands and sand dunes. Since this time, they have been transformed into a place of beauty with undoubtedly one of the finest collections of exotic and indigenous plants to be found
anywhere in New Zealand. There are numerous large majestic trees, many of which are in excess of 120 years, and form a majestic background to the numerous plant collections and sweeping lawns.
A flowering eucalyptus in front of the pine-trees
This araucaria is almost a hundred years old
Close-up of English Border
A small collection of dahlias
In case of emergency the week-end for gardeners is cancelled - a large branch has broken off