Winning garden exhibits history of area
A landscaping project begun by Arne Cleland in 2009 has won multiple awards at The Landscaping New Zealand 2014 Unitec Landscapes of Distinction Awards.
Cleland, of Pukerau Nurseries, said the community garden project called McClimont Green at Mt Somers township in inland Canterbury had presented several challenges.
‘‘They wanted to tell the story of the local geology, flora and history. It was very much an educational thing for the public.
‘‘They wanted plants to represent the alpine zone from the top of Mt Somers right down to the braided river beds.’’
The 90mx50m site was a ‘‘rough bit of ground’’ before it was transformed and had been donated to the township by a local family.
‘‘We used the local rocks – greywacke, limestone and rhyolite and created a pond to reflect the Hakatere Lake system and created a braided river system.’’
Cleland eco-sourced seeds from the area and grew many of the native plants himself while others were donated from Forest & Bird and the Department of Conservation.
of Hokonui Alpines also played an integral part in the project, Cleland said.
They created an alpine scree to represent the top of Mt Somers and an underground water system was installed to mimic what would happen in nature where the roots grew deep to reach moisture.
The project had become the face of the small Mt Somers community, he said.
‘‘I’m really proud of it. You don’t have projects like this come around very often.’’
The project won him gold medals for landscape design and landscape horticulture and a premier award for best use of native plants.
‘‘When you have your own peers looking at it, that’s the bit that makes it feel really good.’’
Mt Somers Village Green Committee member John Chapman said the committee was ‘‘ absolutely delighted’’ the project had won national recognition.
‘‘It justifies the decision we made to get Arne to do the work,’’ Chapman said. ‘‘The growth on the green itself looks really established and we get a lot of positive comment.’’
Growing well: Award-winning landscape architect Arne Cleland of Pukerau Nurseries checks out some native seedlings for his next project.
Big achievement: Design and plantings on a community garden at Mt Somers, Canterbury, has earned Arne Cleland of Pukerau Nurseries multiple landscaping awards.