Garden reflects historic contact

FIRST SIGHT: Walking in to the 1769 Garden is intended to reflect what the crew on board the Endeavour experienced when they arrived in Tairawhiti, says the garden’s curator Malcolm Rutherford. The garden will feature in the 250th Te Ha commemorations in 2019 and become the entrance to the Waikereru Ecosanctuary and Longbush Reserve. Pictures by Liam Clayton
An overview of the garden.
1769 Garden.

DESIGNED to be a walk back in time, the 1769 Garden at Waikereru Ecosanctuary is near completion.

The garden is based on the arrival in Gisborne of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour in 1769, and is intended to be well established at Waikereru Ecosanctuary, formerly Longbush Ecosanctuary, by October 2019 for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing and first encounter between Maori and Europeans.

The public area of riverside bush is still called Longbush Reserve but trustees have changed its name to reflect the haven’s role.

The 1769 Garden is protected by a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) conservation covenant.

Gisborne’s regional QEII Trust representative and curator of the garden, Malcolm Rutherford, said the garden had come to life.

“Two-and-a-half years ago this was a paddock and up until six months ago it still looked like a paddock, with ideas in it," he said.

“We have put in paths, a bridge, steps and it has really started to become more than a paddock and has started to look like a place.”

The garden, designed by landscape architect Philip Smith, has been created on land owned by historian and Captain Cook expert Dame Anne Salmond.

Banks and Solander

The same native species, including kowhai, that Endeavour botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected from the East Coast and took to England, have been grown from seed.

Banks and Solander arrived in 1769 to a mass of yellow flowering kowhai. This was the impression the designers wanted to make when visitors enter the garden.

“We had our first flowering on the kowhai in October last year. When Banks and Solander arrived in the bay, one of the first things they saw was the yellow of the kowhai,” Mr Rutherford said.

Rows of stone add to the gradual incline of the garden and several stone mounds arranged in a quincunx pattern (like the number 5 on a die) host rare plant species.

“We want these rock formations to give the look that they have been here forever.”

Department of Conservation botanist Graeme Atkins was involved in choosing and sourcing the plants, which are some of the first species collected by Banks and Solander in 1769.

“We are working with Graeme, Phillip and Ewen Cameron at Auckland Museum to make sure the 1769 Garden holds as many plants documented by Banks and Solander as possible, and those that are now rare and endangered in Tairawhiti,” Mr Rutherford said.

Hardy species

“The plants have so far survived drought, the wind and rain.”

There was not a lot left to do in preparation for the 250th Te Ha commemorations, he said.

“There are just little things left to plant. Grasses and other shrubs will be planted and will take off.”

The garden and Longbush Welcome Shelter it leads to has been used by Jarratts Create and Educate as part of their Wild Lab classes.

“We have had a few other events in the shelter, so it has been really nice to sit back and see people walk through the garden and see how they relate to it.”

The garden will serve as the foyer for the sanctuary, Mr Rutherford said.

“Longbush is just up the road, so in the future this will be where you arrive and park before heading around the sanctuary.

“Funding has been applied for to add paths linking the garden and welcome shelter to Longbush. Eventually it will be an even better destination, because there is nothing in Gisborne quite like it.”

Waikereru Ecosanctuary and the 1769 Garden can be visited by arrangement, but Longbush Reserve is always open to the public.

DESIGNED to be a walk back in time, the 1769 Garden at Waikereru Ecosanctuary is near completion.

The garden is based on the arrival in Gisborne of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour in 1769, and is intended to be well established at Waikereru Ecosanctuary, formerly Longbush Ecosanctuary, by October 2019 for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing and first encounter between Maori and Europeans.

The public area of riverside bush is still called Longbush Reserve but trustees have changed its name to reflect the haven’s role.

The 1769 Garden is protected by a Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) conservation covenant.

Gisborne’s regional QEII Trust representative and curator of the garden, Malcolm Rutherford, said the garden had come to life.

“Two-and-a-half years ago this was a paddock and up until six months ago it still looked like a paddock, with ideas in it," he said.

“We have put in paths, a bridge, steps and it has really started to become more than a paddock and has started to look like a place.”

The garden, designed by landscape architect Philip Smith, has been created on land owned by historian and Captain Cook expert Dame Anne Salmond.

Banks and Solander

The same native species, including kowhai, that Endeavour botanists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander collected from the East Coast and took to England, have been grown from seed.

Banks and Solander arrived in 1769 to a mass of yellow flowering kowhai. This was the impression the designers wanted to make when visitors enter the garden.

“We had our first flowering on the kowhai in October last year. When Banks and Solander arrived in the bay, one of the first things they saw was the yellow of the kowhai,” Mr Rutherford said.

Rows of stone add to the gradual incline of the garden and several stone mounds arranged in a quincunx pattern (like the number 5 on a die) host rare plant species.

“We want these rock formations to give the look that they have been here forever.”

Department of Conservation botanist Graeme Atkins was involved in choosing and sourcing the plants, which are some of the first species collected by Banks and Solander in 1769.

“We are working with Graeme, Phillip and Ewen Cameron at Auckland Museum to make sure the 1769 Garden holds as many plants documented by Banks and Solander as possible, and those that are now rare and endangered in Tairawhiti,” Mr Rutherford said.

Hardy species

“The plants have so far survived drought, the wind and rain.”

There was not a lot left to do in preparation for the 250th Te Ha commemorations, he said.

“There are just little things left to plant. Grasses and other shrubs will be planted and will take off.”

The garden and Longbush Welcome Shelter it leads to has been used by Jarratts Create and Educate as part of their Wild Lab classes.

“We have had a few other events in the shelter, so it has been really nice to sit back and see people walk through the garden and see how they relate to it.”

The garden will serve as the foyer for the sanctuary, Mr Rutherford said.

“Longbush is just up the road, so in the future this will be where you arrive and park before heading around the sanctuary.

“Funding has been applied for to add paths linking the garden and welcome shelter to Longbush. Eventually it will be an even better destination, because there is nothing in Gisborne quite like it.”

Waikereru Ecosanctuary and the 1769 Garden can be visited by arrangement, but Longbush Reserve is always open to the public.

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