Where ideas grow. This is the message that greets you upon your arrival. Literally. Not only a fantastic introduction to the South Pacific region, a wide variety of flora and ever changing landscape, but a truly inspirational place. To wonder around (the world, too). To learn. To play. To relax. To reflect.
I'm an absolute flower person. And a plant person. And a tree person. No wonder I have been so looking forward to our visit to the Auckland Botanic Gardens. A beautifully and well designed huge space that welcomes every visitor right from the start! And where culture meets nature. For free!
We were lucky enough to catch the last days of the 5th biennial Sculpture in the Gardens event, an exhibition showcasing the work of some great New Zealand artists, and spicing up this amazing venue with even more creativity and a touch of art and music. Not to mention the brilliant permanent collection.
Here are some of my impressions. It brought me back a lot of memories from places I love and sometimes miss. It made me reflect. On a wide variety of things. It let me plant the seeds of some new ideas.
Enjoy the tour! :)
P.S.: There are free guided walks every Wednesday at 1 pm!
The visitor centre and the dancing "Butterfly" sculpture (Llew Summers, 2008)
"Waypoint", the sculpture of colourful glass rocks (Garry Nash), and all that jazz...
Let the tour begin!
Instant refreshment - the organic edible and herb garden, with stunning tips how to design your own backyard or plant some nice greens on your balcony...
One of the highlights: chocolate mint. Yes!!! And it does taste like it! Checked it! Yumm :)
See how it grows, then taste the smoothie made from the fruits, at the café. How awesome!
Threatened - 1/3 of New Zealand native plants are considered threatened or uncommon. Did you know that 80% of the native plants actually exist nowhere else in the world? Wow, such a special and isolated environment! Here is a typical NZ landscape view.
The one and only Three Kings Trumpet Vine plant left in the wild can be found on a little island in the very Northern part of New Zealand, an even more extremely isolated part of the world than the two big main islands of the country itself. As the description says, the only reason it survived is because it grew on a very steep cliff that no one could reach it! Not even the wild goats :)
Can you spot the bee? :)
Loved the details...
Roses. Always beautiful and sweet. Pick one for yourself or for your loved ones. Of course, only virtually :)
This is "Curmudgeon Suite" (Peter Lange, 2010) - a hidden corner of the rose garden where grumpy old men ('pshaw, tut, tut') have a rest while their companions smell the roses :) The setting definitely is stunning...
The next stop: Potter's Children Garden, a fascinating place for kids to explore and learn about their environment, flora & fauna, rainwater collection and green roof tops, sustainable options. A truly inspiring playground for us, big kids, too :)
These hanging bottles could be a super DIY inspiration, don't you think? :)
And some bits and pieces of the spectacular rock garden.
Picnicking and enjoying the park. Under the shades of the trees and a lonely Cedrus Libani, far away from home, yet at home - in this beautiful space. With the "Bird Lady" (Jamie Pickernell, 2012) watching the people, in the land of the birds...
And as the tour came to an end, energised by the power of nature, and the busy mind relaxed, I bid farewell to this fascinating place. With some food for thought... and lots of inspiration...
"Gravity Bag" (Ramón Robertson) - one of my favourites - it made me think about the question: what's this heavy weight in your baggage?? What are we all carrying with us day by day? So meaningful, although the original message of the artist is a bit different. But this is why art is fantastic. Everyone has an opportunity to interpret it in a different way :) What does it tell you?
"Push Away the Sky" (Graham Bennett) - and don't stop until you soar high...
***Got inspired? Maybe go and visit a Botanic Garden nearby ;)
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