Christchurch Botanic Gardens; the Cuningham Subtropical Greenhouse
The C. A. C. Cuningham greenhouse is one of my favorite greenhouses in New Zealand. It is big in every dimension, and boasts a second story walkway that offers a pretty incredible view of the larger plants in the collection. The only places that I have seen larger specimens and more variety are in outdoor gardens further north. Namely the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Whangarei Quarry Gardens.
The bananas in the greenhouse are amazing. They have some pretty big bunches on them as well. A bunch of bananas has layers, or tiers of bananas. Each one of these layers is called a hand. That’s a lot of hands!
The palms in the greenhouse are impressive too. There were quite a few Phoenix roebelenii and Chamaedorea elegans, something that I really liked. They both stay small even at maturity (for a palm, at least) and can be manageable planted in the ground.
There is a ficus tree in one end of the greenhouse that reminds me of a giant rhododendron.
The humid heaven that is the subtropical greenhouse is the last part of the Christchurch Botanic Garden that I’ll cover. The garden also includes a fernery, but extremely low light inside that building made it impossible for me to get any good photos. You’ll just have to visit it yourself, and I encourage everyone who has any interest in ferns to do so. The tree ferns and smaller ferns are very nice in that particular fernery. The Auckland Botanic Garden also has a fernery worth visiting, again with low light conditions. Show me a good fernery, and I’ll show you a place that I can’t take a clear photo!
I love a challenge. Whether it is germinating seeds from exciting new plants (at least exciting and new for me), keeping and raising fish, poison dart frogs, and ornamental shrimp, or navigating new areas of the world without maps or guides, I am interested in it. I have lived in the Pacific Northwest most of my life, and I'm still fond of moss and gray skies.
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