Garden of Innovation
Words: Kate Bleasdale | Wellington Citylife Independent Herald, September 2010
The newest creation adorning the Botanic Gardens gives homage to Maori koru designs and is a nod to Wellington’s creative community.
Garden designer Rachael Matthews, Kelburn, won the contract (sic - competition) through Wellington City Council to design their Innovation Garden, which will be on display until mid 2011.
Matthews who runs her own garden design and plant growing business from home, has previously created a garden for this space, which greets visitors as they enter the gardens from Glenmore Street. She says the site is “very tricky” to work with, and broke the design into three to fit well into the space.
One section, which can be seen from Glenmore Street, was designed in a very bold way to look effective from far away. The middle section meets people as they walk in, and the third Matthews says, is a much finer design that people can view at close range as they wander past. “I’m always thinking about how people are going to look at their garden and enjoy it.”
To find inspiration for the design, Matthews spent time at Te Papa viewing the different artworks. “Maori design lends itself very well to being turned into a garden,” she says. Although each section is quite different, they all use the koru design.
All native plants are used in the garden, which Matthews says will “knit together” as they continue to grow. “They wanted a garden to look good from the start, but also develop.”
Previously a lawyer, Matthews says she’d always been interested in plants. “I’ve always loved flowers and bought flower books and done flower arranging. The interest has always been there.”