Go Gardening - - Contents -

My Auck­land friend likes to call for a chat at cer­tain pre­dictable times of the day. Killing timee on a hands-free phone while sit­ting in traf­fic. There is plenty to love about city life, but at times like this I don’t miss it at all. Ease of move­ment is a ma­jor plus when you move to the re­gions. You can also have a big­ger gar­den.

In global terms New Zealand’s big­gest cities are still babies, but we’re catch­ing up with the trends. More than half the world’s peo­ple now live in big cities and it’s pre­dicted that city dwellers will be two-thirds of the world pop­u­la­tion by 2050.

With the mas­sive in­crease in ur­ban hous­ing den­sity that is fore­cast here, we can only hope there will be enough public green space to make up for the loss in pri­vate gar­dens. Sud­denly our favourite city parks and botanic gar­dens are look­ing more pre­cious than ever.

Pre­cious too are the many large and beautiful pri­vate gar­dens we can visit. Otago’s Lar­nach Cas­tle is one such trea­sure that ev­ery gar­den lover should get to (read more on page 10). Whether you go east, west, north or south this spring there are beautiful gar­dens wait­ing to inspire. On page 38 you’ll find the ma­jor events that show­case gar­dens all around the re­gions.

The good news for city gar­den­ers is that nurs­eries and plant breed­ers con­tinue to keep pace with chang­ing life­styles. The choice of su­per com­pact plants is on the rise while flow­er­ing plants are per­form­ing as if they’re on steroids! Im­prov­ing tech­nolo­gies bring new ways to cram more plants into tight spa­ces. On page 17 Liz Light takes a look at ver­ti­cal gar­dens and how the in­cred­i­ble ‘green walls’ that are start­ing to show up in and around the in­ner city can be achieved on a do­mes­tic scale.

For now, I’ll en­joy my some­what too big for me gar­den and its po­ten­tial to be­come just a lit­tle bit more like some I’ll be vis­it­ing this spring.

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