A garden with links to Cook

Kowhai grove, endangered species for Longbush Ecosanctuary.

Kowhai grove, endangered species for Longbush Ecosanctuary.

TAKING SHAPE: James Fischer, Malcolm Rutherford, Philip Smith and Jeremy Salmond have built stone mounds for growing native herbs at the 1769 Garden. Work started on the garden last year and it is located at the entrance to Longbush Ecosanctuary. They are aiming to have it ready by October 2019 for the the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s landing in Gisborne. Picture by Liam Clayton
James Fischer (Landscape Designer), Malcolm Rutherford (Curator), Philip Smith, Jeremy Salmond (Trustee of Longbush Eco Trust) getting their hands dirty.
Overview of the Longbush 1769 garden.

A PUBLIC garden based on the arrival in Gisborne of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour in 1769 is being developed at a native reserve here.

Its designers aim to have the 1769 Garden well-established at Longbush Ecosanctuary by October 2019 for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing and the first meeting of Maori and Europeans.

“The year 2019 is very important for the garden and Gisborne,” says garden designer Philip Smith.

Native plants will be grown from seeds connected to those Endeavour botanists Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks took from the East Coast to England.

This includes kowhai, which was flowering when they landed, he says.

“It is a massive coincidence that they arrived when one of our most beautiful flowering trees was in flower. We want a kowhai grove to be the first thing people see when they arrive at the garden.”

Mr Smith and co-designer James Fischer examined records of the species Cook and his men encountered when they arrived, after they were contracted by Longbush Ecosanctuary trustees Jeremy Salmond and Dame Anne Salmond to design the garden.

Some are endangered, such as kakabeak, which will be planted in hope of restoring the population.

“We want to grow a significant population of kakabeak because there are only about 150 left in the wild,” Mr Smith says.

“The garden can be a source of kakabeak seeds in the future.”

Banks and Solander also took a variety of native herbs from Gisborne.

To illustrate this, species will be grown within mounds of stone in a quincunx layout (like the number five on a die), a technique used by Maori.

Maori used stone to mark out land in the form of low straight walls, and visitors will be able to see examples of this. The combination of these native techniques will give the garden a point of difference, Mr Smith says.

“These stark pieces of geometry give it guts and relate to what part of landscape looked like in 1769.”

It can also educate and excite people about conservation, as there will be a variety of endangered plants, he says.

Relevant historical and environmental material could be available from the nearby Longbush Welcome Shelter. Access to the reserve and the welcome shelter will be through the garden.

“The garden is just a launching point for the Ecosanctuary, as most is beyond it.”

A PUBLIC garden based on the arrival in Gisborne of Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour in 1769 is being developed at a native reserve here.

Its designers aim to have the 1769 Garden well-established at Longbush Ecosanctuary by October 2019 for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing and the first meeting of Maori and Europeans.

“The year 2019 is very important for the garden and Gisborne,” says garden designer Philip Smith.

Native plants will be grown from seeds connected to those Endeavour botanists Daniel Solander and Joseph Banks took from the East Coast to England.

This includes kowhai, which was flowering when they landed, he says.

“It is a massive coincidence that they arrived when one of our most beautiful flowering trees was in flower. We want a kowhai grove to be the first thing people see when they arrive at the garden.”

Mr Smith and co-designer James Fischer examined records of the species Cook and his men encountered when they arrived, after they were contracted by Longbush Ecosanctuary trustees Jeremy Salmond and Dame Anne Salmond to design the garden.

Some are endangered, such as kakabeak, which will be planted in hope of restoring the population.

“We want to grow a significant population of kakabeak because there are only about 150 left in the wild,” Mr Smith says.

“The garden can be a source of kakabeak seeds in the future.”

Banks and Solander also took a variety of native herbs from Gisborne.

To illustrate this, species will be grown within mounds of stone in a quincunx layout (like the number five on a die), a technique used by Maori.

Maori used stone to mark out land in the form of low straight walls, and visitors will be able to see examples of this. The combination of these native techniques will give the garden a point of difference, Mr Smith says.

“These stark pieces of geometry give it guts and relate to what part of landscape looked like in 1769.”

It can also educate and excite people about conservation, as there will be a variety of endangered plants, he says.

Relevant historical and environmental material could be available from the nearby Longbush Welcome Shelter. Access to the reserve and the welcome shelter will be through the garden.

“The garden is just a launching point for the Ecosanctuary, as most is beyond it.”

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