Art, Gardens and the Farmers’ Market of Nelson, NZ
Sunday- Rarangi Beach
Monday-Blenheim Wineries and Gardens
Tuesday-Totaranui and Abel Tasman Nat’l Park
Wednesday-Birds of Abel Tasman
Thursday- Nelson, New Zealand
Friday- Picton and the Marlborough Sounds
Saturday-The Plants of New Zealand
Nelson, New Zealand, lies on the southern shore of Tasman Bay, at the northern end of the South Island and is a center for arts and crafts and the host of a popular Farmers’ Market that attracts people from all over. These are the places we went on the way back from the beach:
Mapua was a midmorning café stop. People gather there to watch the tide go in and out, eat ice cream and watch their dogs and children play. We browsed the shops, too.
At a small cafe, Yellow Kangaroo Paw, Anigozanthos pulcherrimus, brings out all the colors of the Phormium ‘Tricolor’ and the tall flowering, Phormium tenax, the common species variety.
In another planting, Purple sheep’s burr, Acaena inermis ‘Purpurea’, is an attractive low grower. We saw this all over, but a word of caution…it does have burrs which you might not like if you have dogs.
World of Wearable Art This one of a kind museum and show is nearly indescribable. Artists create wearable works of art and an over the top awards show out grew the town of Nelson and now takes place in Wellington each year.
The Queens Gardens- The Sentinel is a sculpture by Dominique de Borrekens and Grant Scott that honors the Nelson settlers who planted these beautiful traditional gardens over 100 years ago.
Japanese Gardens- Here were oodles of ideas, using natural elements for garden features and hardscapes. I’ll do a separate post on this, as that fits right into my garden!
Suter Gallery, where we saw a movie, RED, with about 15 lucky Nelsonians.
So come along on the last stop to the Nelson Farmers’ Market held downtown in a large parking lot. Here, I especially liked the hand knit clothing, the exotic fabrics sewn into skirts and dresses, the bakery and spice booths, each offering samples to taste.
What are root trainers?
My sister pointed out that her favorite nursery, Morgan Road Nursery from Blenheim, had a booth here, specializing in native plants grown in ‘root trainers’.
Root trainers are deep, 5 inches deep, plant pots in sections of four. Think of a pony pak with four sections and deep enough to encourage the root to grow long. Park Seed stocks them in sets of 32 cells for $16.95 here in the US, but in NZ, they are common,…and a great idea! With a large garden to plant, the root trainers, sold at $10.00NZ ($7.81 US) for four, are a bargain.
Morgan Road clearly labels its plants with the name and height each is expected to grow. I counted 7 or 8 grass varieties at this market, but they stock over 20 at the nursery. Their plants are categorized into natives, grasses, exotics and forestry trees. Seen here:
Coprosma Kirkii Groundcover Coprosma
Coprosma Repens Mirror Bush
Coprosma Acerosa ‘Hawera’
Carpodetus Serratus Marble leaf
Muehlenbeckia Astonii Wiggywig
Coprosma ‘Black cloud’
Corokia virgata wire-netting bush
Coprosma ‘Roy’s Red’
Leptospernum scoparium Manuka
Corokia ‘Geentys Green’
Corokia ‘Little Prince’
Corokia ‘Frosted chocolate’
Dianella nigra Flax Lily
Pseudopanex lessonii Houpara
Olearia paniculata Daisy Bush
Olearia avicenniaefolia Tree daisy
Olearia virgata “Dartonii”
Carex flagellifera Sedge
Chionochloa flavicans Green-leaved Tussock Grass
Carex tenuiculmis NZ Hair Sedge
Carex ‘Frosted Curls’
Carex virgata Swamp Sedge
Anemathele lessoniana Bamboo grass
Poa cita Silver tussock grass
Morgan Road supplies plants to some restoration groups who are restoring native areas to encourage wildlife to come back or just stay in their native homes. The NZ government will subsidize home restoration projects, with enough to buy the plants if you have a quarter acre to plant.
What is Bokashi?
One other product found at the Nelson farmers’ Market is the Bokashi Boost, a home composting system. Bokashi is a bran-based material made with a culture of effective micro-organisms.
Since in the US, Bokashi systems are a bit expensive, I went looking for an alternative and found it on the Wildlife Gardeners site, with this intriguing thread, Extreme Bokashi – make your own inoculants, asking, “Certainly all the good microbes don’t live in Japan, do they?”
Tomorrow– Friday – Picton and the Marlborough Sounds