To say this garden is beautiful is only part of the story;
it draws you in and teases you with vistas and then quietly envelops you in an intimate grove of sequoias.
Ten years later, Bev added a gardener to her staff who was instrumental in creating this truly breathtaking garden.Bev is still very much involved in creating seemingly impossible combinations of plants that highlight the ideal growing conditions available to gardens in this region.
Before we left Ayrlies, we had the chance to sit down with Bev McConnell’s son, John, and Jack Hobbs, Director of Auckland Botanic Gardens, to discuss the Longwood Graduate Program.
The group had a great conversation about the future of public horticulture professionals and one that we were able to continue with Jack as we visited Auckland Botanic Garden (ABG) next.
We began our visit to ABG inside the library with a short overview of the Garden. Jack explained that this relatively young (32 year old), 156 acre garden is free to the public and boasts an attendance that has more than doubled in the last 8 years to over 900,000 visitors annually.
Jack has an excitement to share horticulture with garden visitors that is contagious.We followed Jack into the grounds where he pointed to a number of techniques used to interact with visitors.
Impossible to miss are eclectic sculptures in the garden, water features and native plant collections important to the Maori people.
Jack explained that there are more naturalized non-native plants than natives in New Zealand and the garden showcases native plants that can be used in the home garden to encourage greater use.
As we finished our walk we explored the children’s garden and stopped to enjoy one final sculpture before thanking Jack for being a great host and sharing his garden with us.
Blog by Bryan and Photos by Felicia