Blooms, Bees & Bellbirds | The Garden CityGuest post by Jennifer Branje | Southproud.co.nz
An absolute spring delight, Christchurch Botanic Gardens offers young and old an impressive inner-city greenspace to meander and enjoy.
A striking field of bright daffodils lines one bank of the Avon River. Mothers with youngsters strapped into cross country buggies jog leisurely along the paths. Others sit in peaceful contemplation on park benches. It’s spring and new life is everywhere.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a happy place. Emerging from winter slumber, people are welcoming the sights and sounds of a new season. Garden beds are awash with colour. Mottled light beams through giant specimen trees that were planted generations ago.
The gravel paths are even and accessible for all. Sculpture and artworks evoke discussion and interpretation as people pass by. Some are interactive, drawing small children to instigate a flow of water that sets off a series of clanging mechanisms.
Thousands of honey bees feast on Cherry blossom, humming in a melodious spring symphony. Spent blossom falls to the paths below like wayward snowflakes.
The surrounding heritage buildings of Christ College trick you into a feeling of being in an opulent English Garden. Beautiful native birdsong is a reminder that you’re in New Zealand. Tui & Bellbirds welcome guests, heralding the return of sweet nectar in bloom. Fat, colourful ducks waddle beside the river. Visitors glide along the shallow Avon River in small, flat bottomed boats ‘punted’ by guides dressed in Edwardian style uniforms.
The sound of trickling water is everywhere. Ponds of all sizes team with life, a welcoming bar for birds, bees and insects. Green fingered Council workers pull the unwelcome weeds, perched on bended knee. Their work is magnificent, untiring and revered by thousands.
Large grassy areas are enjoyed by groups of friends, families and those just looking for a break from the busy urban dance. Kids head for the large playground to stretch their legs and imaginations.
The Peacock Fountain bursts to life. Light dances off the spray as a rainbow of water spills to the pond below.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre offers souvenirs, trinkets and maps for garden explorers. There’s also a welcoming café where you can grab a delicious lunch and dine al fresco in the vast, impressive surrounds.
This beautiful park is a joy to experience and a fabulous example of urban greenspace. Be sure to put it on your ‘Must Do’ list when visiting Christchurch.