Win­ning gar­den ex­hibits his­tory of area

Newslink - - NEWS - By RACHAEL KELLY

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.

Peter Sal­mond

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.’’

PHOTO: RACHAEL KELLY/FAIR­FAX NZ

Grow­ing well: Award-win­ning land­scape ar­chi­tect Arne Cle­land of Puk­erau Nurs­eries checks out some na­tive seedlings for his next project.

PHOTO: RACHAEL KELLY/FAIR­FAX NZ

Big achieve­ment: De­sign and plant­ings on a com­mu­nity gar­den at Mt Somers, Can­ter­bury, has earned Arne Cle­land of Puk­erau Nurs­eries mul­ti­ple land­scap­ing awards.

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