Cheryll's Writing Journal

Musings, rants and ravings, plus gems of insight nobody wants to hear now that I've finally got them. Also neat stuff I found on the 'Net when I should have been updating this blog....

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hagley Park, Christchurch, NZ

According to Wikipedia, Hagley Park is the largest urban open space (164.637 hectares) in Christchurch, and was created in 1855 by the Provincial Government.It was opened to the public in 1856, so those trees are many of them over a century old.

That makes for very BIG trees. And well established plantings throughout, a river running through (California sized, not Michigan. In Ann Arbor, we have drains bigger, LOL) plus acres and acres of playing fields, tennis courts, lawn bowling, a botanic garden, antique rose collection, orchid house and ponds.  Through all there are paved walkways, little benches and nooks and niches and picnic tables. Everyone goes, old, young, babies in strollers, rugby players and joggers and dog walkers.

Especially appealing was it being right a cross the street from where we were staying meant we could wander over just about any time we wanted.  And we wanted a lot! It being springtime down under, EVERYTHING was in bloom.  Except the daffodils and other bulbs were done. Did find the occasional late tulip, though.

There were, for instance, rhododendrons the size of school buses. (I'm not kidding) Look:
And masses of azalea plantings:
Azaleas in every shade you can think of from white all the way to a rich mahogany. And roses, many of them very old fashioned and very old. Also camelias, and I haven't seen camelias since I left California. And so many other blooming things whose names I don't know or can't remember!
I think this one pretty much tells it all: Azaleas, camelias, rhododendrons...and a palm tree down front!
The trees were just amazing, too. I mean: HUGE. Now, I'm from California; I've seen Sequoias. And in Michigan I've been exposed to oaks and maples of considerable size.  But none of them can touch these monsters!  Most wouldn't fit in my camera... For instance:
This is a Monterey Pine. Yeah, yeah, you're thinking. Been there, seen them scrawny little things...
See what I mean? That's none too small me for scale...

I loved that park! And I loved the way every scrap of yard (and Christchurch houses are crammed together closely) is planted full of flowers and trees. It is called the Garden City, and at this time of year, truly lives up to its name.


  • At 8:45 PM, Blogger Nancy said…

    WOW.. am loving the story of your trip!!


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