Timaru stone in Passchendaele garden
A Timaru business is contributing to a garden which will be built in Belgium to commemorate 100 years since the Battle of Passchendaele.
Bluestone Industries owner Rene Kempf was asked by Design Source to construct 34 pavers, which will be sent to Belgium in March, out of bluestone. He said it took the business a couple of days to put the pavers together. ‘‘Not a big job for us.’’ The pavers had a slight curve to them, and were 50 centimetres in length, about 10cm wide, and 4cm deep. They will form a curve flat on the ground, and will have bronze letters set in them in Christchurch, spelling out lines from the hymn Poppies and Pohutukawa.
Kempf said Boffa Miskell, one of the biggest landscape architectural firms in New Zealand, had designed the garden.
In the past, Bluestone Industries has been called upon to provide stone for projects in Japan and Hong Kong, but generally it only services the New Zealand market, Kempf said.
‘‘It’s just nice to be involved with that sort of stature.’’
Design Source director Sue Holmes said the garden would be poppy-shaped.
‘‘It’s quite an impressive and beautiful project.’’
She believed the stone was selected because Boffa Miskell wanted to use New Zealand products.
‘‘It’s a hardy, dense material which will last a long time.’’
Boffa Miskell senior principal landscape architect Cathy Challinor said the Passchendaele Memorial Museum 1917 was developing seven poppy-shaped gardens to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle. One of these gardens is the New Zealand Memorial and Garden.
‘‘The Timaru basalt is a central part of the design, a celebration of this beautiful material that is coming from the heart of New Zealand to the heart of Belgium. There will be other New Zealandbased materials, including a stone chip from the North Island.’’
Most of the garden is being prefabricated in New Zealand, and will be transported via sea to Belgium in time for the opening and anniversary on October 12 this year.
‘‘The design for the garden responds to the brief’s three themes of remembrance: remembrance through plant symbolism, remembrance through visual art and remembrance through literature,’’ Challinor said.
An artist’s impression of what the memorial garden will look like.