• NZ Week- Art and Gardens of Nelson, NZ

    by  • February 3, 2011 • Summer, Take a NZ vacation, Winter

    Aotearoa is the Moari name for New Zealand. Mural in Nelson, NZ

    Art, Gardens and the Farmers’ Market of Nelson, NZ

    Tapas, with teeny forks!

    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

    Going out for a Tapas dinner at Nelson Harbor

    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. 

    Yellow Kangaroo paw, Phormium ‘Tricolor’ and Phormium tenax.

    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.

    Iceplant among the Purple sheep’s burr, Acaena inermis 'Purpurea'

    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.




    These paintings at a Mapua shop include mussel shells as a 3rd dimension!

     Höglund Art Glass Studio & Gallery

    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 Sentinel, a sculpture in the Queen's Garden in Nelson

    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.

    The Nelson Saturday Market

    The Nelson Market held each Saturday.

    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.

    Jewel colors of the hand knits were hard to resist.

    -Shopping, shopping–

    Love, love all the colors of the skirts and dresses here!

    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.

    Native NZ plants sold in root trainers from Morgan Road Nursery booth

    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
    Coprosma Virescens
    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

    Grasses, all native, are especially suited to sea side climates.

    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?

    Bokashi Boost a home composter, free to all Kiwis.

    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?”

    The Nelson Market, getting crowded, so we were on our way...

    Tomorrow– Friday – Picton and the Marlborough Sounds


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.