TOWN AND COUNTRY
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.