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Autumn 2019 articles


Wolfgang Bopp, Director Botanic Gardens and Garden Parks

We would like to send our condolences and heartfelt best wishes to everyone directly and indirectly affected by recent events. You are in our thoughts. We hope that at this difficult time the Botanic Gardens can be a tranquil place to take time out for yourself or have quality time with family and friends. It's heartening to see so many people, locals and visitors alike, coming together to show their support and pay their respects at the Rolleston Avenue wall. Thank you.

You'll find something new and interesting in our autumn edition of the Botanic Gardens newsletter. Two of our team members share some of their seasonal highlights with you.

On behalf of my wife and myself, I would like to thank you for your very kind welcome. It has been 6 months since we arrived in New Zealand and, while we still have a lot to learn, we are enjoying making Christchurch our home. As we see the first leaves turn, we are excited to experience our first autumn here. The Acer rubrum Red Sunset (‘Franskred’), or red maple, is leading the way with striking red foliage. I hope you will join us over the next few months as the Gardens evolve through its autumn display(external link).

With so much to see and do this season, the Friends of the Botanic Gardens(external link) offer many ways to get involved. See below to find out more.

If you know someone who would enjoy this newsletter, you are welcome to forward this to them or they can register here(external link).

Thank you for your support. See you soon.

Summer bedding

Richard Poole, Team Leader Botanic Gardens Collections

Richard and his team planting

The summer bedding display this season has been very popular, with many good comments from the public.

Some of the highlights this year have been Celosia argentea var. plumosa ‘Fresh Look Mixed’, Ornamental Millet, Pennisetum glaucum ‘Jade Princess’ and ‘Purple Barron’. These have added an exotic look to the beds and have been a firm favourite with visitors.

Canna lily, Canna generalis cultivars have been used to give height and effect with their bold tropical looking foliage and vivid colours.

Planning is well under way for our winter display which will feature over 4000 Tulips.

Celosia, millet and canna lily on display


Rose hips

Lizzy Bristow, Collection Curator

Although species roses and some of the Old Fashioned roses will only flower once in the spring , most will put on a show of colour again in the autumn with a striking display of hips. With warm autumnal hues of reds and oranges, colouring up at staggered times depending on the rose, the display will last through the autumn and well into winter to brighten up the greyest of winter days.

Rosa rugosa and its cultivars have some of the largest hips, some up to 3cm in diameter, a vibrant glossy red colour when ripe which some say resembles a Tomato! In fact one of the many common names for this rose is ‘Sea Tomato’ - not the most flattering name for a rose.

Rose hips have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, made into jams, syrups, jellies, soups and even bread and wine. It is a potent source of vitamin C, with Rosa canina, sometimes known as the ‘Dog Rose’ or ‘Wild Rose’, containing the most vitamin C having 10-50 times that of an Orange! The amount of vitamins varies greatly between species and growing conditions, with rose hips grown in cooler climates having higher levels of vitamin C. Rosa canina is an invasive species and can be seen growing wild on roadsides, riverbeds and wild places all across the country.

From top left to right: Rosa roxburghii var. hirtula, Rosa moyesii, Rosa helenae
From bottom left to right: Rosa moyesii 'Geranium', Rosa 'Double White Burnett', Rosa rugosa 'Scabrosa'