My Favourite Window

February 26, 2012

Wellington Weekend

After too many days of cold and rain in the Secret Garden,
I arrived in Wellington last week, to find basking sunshine

and hardly any wind !

Although Christchurch, in its heyday, bore the Garden City garland, Wellington is one great Secret Garden.

Hydrangeas and roses nestle into forest glades or sheltered bush-clad valleys.

All over the hillside suburbs, footpaths make short work of getting around - or leave the flatlander short of breath.

They step and sweep, zig-zag, or boldly take a lift to or from sea level, offering all sorts of glimpses into other people's lives, gardens and wilderness along the way.
Amongst the city towers of mirror glass, ivy races for the sky and native seedlings carelessly take root. In the slots and crannies of park benchs pohutukawa seeds sprout hopefully. It wouldn't take much neglect for this trumpeting commercial centre to disappear into the undergrowth,
so fecund is its moist and mild climate.
But Wellington is New Zealand's capital city, and culture is cultivated, so there are gardens that exceed expectations,
like the lovely native forest garden in the national museum,
Te Papa,

and this sea-shore garden on the Waterfront that invites exploration.

 But because my hosts, Noreen and Dyk (above centre) live very close to the Botanic Gardens, it is easy to amble around and through that diverse space:

On my own...
or with friends.

 We marvel at sculptures, such as Rudderstone

or play with Listening and Viewing Devise.

Naturally we take time to smell the roses.

And when night falls I stroll down to the end of the road and enter the forest margin to say goodnight to the gloworms, glimmering under mossy overhangs above the path and from across the invisible stream.

The real reason for my visit to Wellington is the subject of another post...


Chris said...

Lovely place! So nice to see photos of a place with so much in flower (and in the sun) ;-)

Jeneane said...

Have you been Chris? Definitely good for the bees. The sun! Yeah I was in need of it too :-)

nick said...

The sea-shore garden is rather wonderful, as is the house.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Glad you like it Nick. The 'house' is a boatshed overlooking a recreational lagoon; just part of an extensive waterfront park developed from old quayside. The garden is delightful, with little paths winding amongst the strange, tough plants that inhabit wild coastland, and monstrous relics of wharf-works.

libby said...

How I want to sit in the sun on the bench on the right of the photo! we all need to stop and smell the roses.....

Jeneane said...

Hi Libby. The sunny bench is in the herb garden, which is sited along a narrow sunny spur sheltered from the wind by big old pines - very tranquil.

the cuby poet said...

This is such an amazing place with so much green and floral interest interspersed with other items of quirky fascination. Look like a fabulous city. :)

Jeneane said...

Fabulous it is Claire. This is a city where you can sit stuck in the morning rush hour and watch dolphins or whales cavorting in the harbour. This is a city where in casual conversation you find yourself talking to the craftsmen and women behind the detail of the Lord of the Rings films. It is a city where multi-storey buildings and whole precincts are shunted around like chess pieces to fit some new planning scheme. It is also a city made possible by an Earthquake 157 years ago.

The Sagittarian said...

I lived in Wellington for many years prior to my shift to Christchurch, love visiting there too. I had forgotten how lovely the Botanic Gardens are. I haven't posted about my visit yet - a bit preoccupied but I'll get to it.

Jeneane said...

This is such a fine settled time of year to visit isn't it. And isn't it strange heading to Wellington to get away from the earthquakes!

John Gray said...

tHAT HYDRANGER glade is absolutely lovely
I have a soft spot for them

Jeneane said...

John, it rather looks like a soft and and inviting couch to collapse into doesn't it. As a young gardener I despised hydrangeas for the single-minded way they were grown at the backs of houses by an older generation. Now I am eyeing up suitable places in the Secret Garden for my own glade :-)