One of the ways we celebrate our New Zealand environment is in our garden landscapes. I love the way New Zealand architects and landscapers have moved towards putting our houses firmly into their natural environment.
Getting the same effect in your own small un-architect-designed garden can be a bit more of a challenge. Landscaping with native plants is its own special skill.
The easy bit is getting the plants go grow. Choosing plants native to your own little bit of the New Zealand ecosystem guarantees plants that will flourish. Our own Christchurch City Council has published a wonderful series outlining the plants native to your bit of Otautahi.
Putting it together to create an harmonious whole demands creativity and a bit of understanding of the native ecosystem. Fortunately there are lots of books to help you out with ideas and information. We have a booklist If you want to landscape with New Zealand native plants to make it easy for you. Isobel Gabites lead the way in 1998 with a book which used natural plant associations to create designs for gardens. Many books since then have gone on to offer inspiring examples and essential planting information to help create the desired effect.
Think you need a lot of space for a native garden? Think again. What about this little beauty planted by the CCC gardeners outside the City Rebuild building on Lichfield Street (just behind the Lichfield Street carpark). It only measures around 3×7 metres and looks like a mini forest.