|A fine specimen of Cordyline, the Cabbage Tree|
|Waharoa Gate at the entrance to the gardens|
|The lush forests of Wilton's Bush Forest Reserve|
To the right after entering the gardens is the Alpine Rock Garden, which features plants found at high elevations. The paths are surfaced with finely crushed gravel with well composed layouts of native Greywacke stone framing the edges. These are paths that beckon you to make your way around unseen bends using design devices that allude to those found in Nature. Steps made from natural stone give the appearance of walking in a condensed natural landscape.
|Entrance to the Alpine Garden|
|Pools in the Alpine Garden|
|Kauri trees edge the path leading in to the Wilton Bush|
|A vine wrapped Kauri trunk|
|The Canopy Walk|
|A view of a mixture of Podocarp trees from the Canopy Walkway|
|View of Tree Ferns from the Canopy Walkway|
|A young Meryta sinclairii (Puka)|
|Knightia excelsa (Rewarewa, NZ Honeysuckle)|
|Metrosideros umbellale (Southern Rata) in bloom on the last day of 2017 at Milford Sound|
|Waharoa Gate at the end of the Canopy Walk|
|The Cockayne Lawn and Brockie Rock Garden|
|The Cockayne Lawn with the Brockie Rock Garden on the left|
|The beautiful Brockie Rock Garden|
|A section of the Brockie Rock Garden|
|Foreground: Geranium travesii (Chatham Island Geranium), and Celmisia (Rock Daisy) in the Brockie Rock Garden|
|The Brockie Rock Garden, with Hebe, Parahebe, and Euphorbia glauca|
|The Brockie Rock Garden with flaming orange Carex|
|Containers on the deck of the Leonard Cockayne Center planted with Astelias|
|A sign for the nursery, explaining methods of propagation|
|Spiny Aciphylla aurea grows in high altitude landscapes|
At the end of the lawn, a stone terrace overlooks a lower graveled garden planted with plants found in rain shadow environments, where the climate is drier. The terrace contains the graves of Leonard Cockayne and his wife Maude.
|A stone terrace, called the Cockayne overlook, looking over a gravel garden|
|Orange Carex (Sedge) in a gravel garden below the Cockayne Overlook|
|Astroderia (Toe Toe) in a Tussock ecosystem planting|
|The buff colored plumes of Austroderia (Toe Toe grass) lights up the path, with a bronze Phormium (New Zealand Flax) to the right, and tall mature Pseudopanax ferox (Lancewoods) and brown Carex (Sedge)|
Grasses and Sedges are beautifully arranged in naturalistic combinations with distinctively textured shrubbery. Some are orange, others lime green, or tan and buff colors.
|Grasses and Sedges and Groundcovers|
|Grasses, Sedges, Hebe and Corokia cotoneaster|
|Gahnia rigida, (Sawsedge) found in coastal bogs on both the North and South Islands in the Coastal Garden|
|Corokias, Meuhlenbeckias, Coprosmas and Pseudopanax|
|A wonderful textural planting of Divaricating Plants|
|A fantastical grove of juvenile and mature Pseudopanax ferox plants and Hebes|
A garden featuring Hebes, Olearias, and Pittosporums connect the two sides of this lower area.
|Phormium cookianum (Mountain Flax), Hebe salicifolia, Olearia, and Pittosporum|
|Left: Arthropodium cirratum (Rengarenga) and Right: Pseudopanax under a canopy of multi-trunked trees.|
Coprosma is a genus of many types of shrubs and groundcovers found all over New Zealand. One of my favorites is Coprosma ciliata, a large upright shrub with tiny rounded glossy leaves set on horizontal fan like branches. Coprosmas sport colorful berries in orange, yellow, and bright blue depending on the species. Bronze and variegated colored foliage cultivars are commonly planted in California gardens.
|Coprosmas and Meuhlenbeckias and a variety of ground covers|
|An artfully laid out path|
|Looking out in to the Wilton Bush|
|The waterfall with Elatostema rugosum (Parataniwha, New Zealand Begonia) growing at it's base|
|Shelf fungi on a decaying tree trunk|
The trail leads through picnic lawns and extensively restored bush plantings. Thousands of trees and shrubs have been planted to accelerate the regeneration of the forest. Birdlife is recovering due to increased habitats and efforts to remove introduced predators, such as Stoats, Possums, and Rats and Feral Cats.
|The Troup Picnic Lawn|
|The South Picnic Area in the Wilton Bush|
|The Karori Cemetery|
|The Karori Cemetery|
|The Karori Cemetery|
Hiking back along the streams, and up the hill, I returned to the Botanical Garden. I wandered the paths again admiring this wonderful plant collection set brilliantly amongst the carefully placed stones spotted with beautiful lichens. The light grew silvery with some coastal mist drifting in. A magical day.
One of the many projects I have been working on at Camp Glenorchy is what I call the Zen Garden. It is a strolling garden in front of the Homestead Building, which is the main lodge for the camp. I laid generous local schist flagstones to create the paths, a material that is not readily available in the Wellington region. I laid the stones in a way that they relate to each other and create a path that slows you down, so that people will stroll the garden and take in its details.
|The Zen Garden at Camp Glenorchy|
|Red Roses from a Women's retreat placed in a stone bowl I carved, in the Zen Garden at Camp Glenorchy|