The plot be­came the Ar­bore­tum, and to­day is one of the best col­lec­tions in New Zealand, con­tain­ing two thirds of the world’s pine species.

NZ Today - - ON FILM -

The plot be­came the Ar­bore­tum, and to­day is one of the best col­lec­tions in New Zealand, con­tain­ing two thirds of the world’s pine species. Its for­est paths are a pleas­ant place to wan­der, just up the road from the lodge (the Hart me­mo­rial gate makes the en­trance hard to miss).

Hart’s prac­tice of plant­ing species in groups of three, less than five me­tres apart, can be seen to­day, no­tably in the trio of se­quoias, the width of each hav­ing a sim­i­lar mea­sure­ment to the spa­ces be­tween them.

Hugh Bur­rows re­mem­bers help­ing to dig out the orig­i­nal tracks at the Ar­bore­tum, also one morn­ing Harry Hart giv­ing him the job of trans­plant­ing a young conifer, tak­ing it away from a damp area.

Hart gave him de­tailed in­struc­tions on how to dig around it in a wide cir­cle to avoid dam­ag­ing the roots, and to pre­pare a hole a short dis­tance away of the same size; he said he would be back to help Hugh move it at 1.30pm.

Hugh was fin­ished well be­fore time, and, whether or not he waited un­til the ap­pointed time, by the time Hart ar­rived half an hour late at 2 pm Hugh had fin­ished the whole ex­er­cise.

Hugh laughs at the mem­ory of Hart tut­tut­ting fas­tid­i­ously, anx­ious that he had not su­per­vised the trans­plant. He adds that the tree is still in the same spot to­day, and thriv­ing.

It is from the Ar­bore­tum that south­ward walk­ers of the Te Araroa trail will en­ter the vil­lage, and, if they choose, take a rest at the Lodge (or at one of their tent sites).

This is not a bad idea, for this is the half­way point of the South Is­land sec­tion of the trail, and at the other end of the vil­lage the Rakaia River pro­vides a nat­u­ral break in their path, and is an un­traversable ob­sta­cle.

In par­tic­u­lar, it is not a bad idea, since the Lodge can pro­vide trans­port for guests, tak­ing them the nec­es­sary 70-kilo­me­tre de­tour by road via the Rakaia Gorge to where the trail re­sumes (and walk­ing that dis­tance on roads when it is not even part of the trail is not the most pleas­ing prospect for Te Araroa’s ad­ven­tur­ous walk­ers).

An Auck­land cou­ple, Ge­off and Lisa, stayed at the Lodge for a cou­ple of nights while I was there for this very rea­son, and seemed to have a pleas­ant stay, read­ing their books in the lounge and the gar­den.

THOUGH LAKE CO­LERIDGE VIL­LAGE is a small place, it still falls into three nat­u­ral di­vi­sions ac­cord­ing to the dif­fer­ent lev­els where the houses have been built: Top Flat, Bot­tom Flat, and, above the Lodge and op­po­site the Ar­bore­tum, West Flat.

West Flat con­sists of two small streets: Riverview Ter­race, where the Bil­liards Club House stands along­side a house that used to be the din­ing room for the res­i­dents of the sin­gle men's quar­ters; and Harper Place, where the two new­est houses are built on the end of the street to the left of Num­ber 1.

So, how do they num­ber their let­ter­boxes? They have dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to the prob­lem: the house on the end has put up a sim­ple “1”, the sec­ond house has not both­ered with a let­ter­box at all, and the orig­i­nal Num­ber 1 has writ­ten “House No. 1” on its box.

In prac­tice, none of this mat­ters, for all res­i­dents col­lect their mail from the boxes down at the old Post Of­fice build­ing.

There are some res­i­dents I want to meet on Top Flat, so I take a foot­path up the hill, pass­ing through a lovely park with tall conifers. The first house I come to is that of Hugh and Janet Der­ham, built on the site of the for­mer cro­quet club (other houses in this new sub-di­vi­sion are built where the vil­lage school used to be).

They built this as a hol­i­day house in 2007 (it won a gold award for Jen­nian Homes in House of the Year, 2008), choos­ing the vil­lage for its prox­im­ity to Christchurch and be­cause the lo­cal ac­tiv­i­ties pro­vided some­thing for all mem­bers of their fam­ily (fish­ing, boat­ing, and tramp­ing).

It's a mod­ern house be­side an area of park­land, but it's not easy to see how it was once mis­taken for an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre.

Nev­er­the­less, the Der­ham's daugh­ter was stay­ing here once and a tourist came in ask­ing for a map. A map was pro­duced and they were sur­prised that money wasn't ac­cepted in ex­change for it, then com­mented how nice the in­te­rior was for an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre!

Hugh and Janet shifted here per­ma­nently af­ter the 2010 earthquake wrecked their home in Bex­ley, and both were able to work from home.

Janet worked for the in­dus­try train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion in Fire and Res­cue Ser­vices, and Hugh works in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

Hugh has a great in­ter­est in dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy, and spe­cialises in panoramic land­scapes of the high coun­try around Lake Co­leridge.

He en­joys walk­ing in this area, al­ways tak­ing his cam­era with him. He re­grets one time when he was with­out his cam­era, and came upon two har­rier hawks eat­ing a live (and pant­ing) rab­bit.

Last year he pub­lished a beau­ti­ful lit­tle book of these pho­to­graphs ti­tled, The Call of the Hills. They have also been re­pro­duced on fold-out post­cards, and some of them are dis­played on the walls of this open plan house (they would also look great in an in­for­ma­tion cen­tre!)

An­other project he has un­der­way is the digi­tis­ing of the power sta­tion's collection of pho­to­graphs for Trust Power be­fore the sta­tion's cen­te­nary later this year.

A rare clear­ing in the Ar­bore­tum

Or­ange tri­an­gles mark out the Te Araroa trail through the Ar­bore­tum.

The two Num­ber Ones on Riverview Ter­race.

Janet and Hugh Der­ham

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.