It won’t be long before people can enjoy summer in the upgraded Riddiford Garden, which will see a natural, contemporary New Zealand style of landscaping with great facilities and access.
It is expected the hard landscaping will be finished by October, with the final phase of the garden upgrade including a sunken plaza with a water feature, new paths and bridges and a carpark for the Events Centre.
The playful water feature will not only be attractive, but also fun for children in the warmer months. The upgraded pathway along the Opahu Stream features various improvements to the landscape providing attractive paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Two new bridges will provide good access for prams and wheelchair users.
The Garden will be horticulturally rich with 5000 new plants (160 species) eventually planted in 30 garden beds. While the Garden’s Spring flower display is very strong, displays in the other three seasons will be strengthened to provide interesting year round displays of flowers, foliage, stems and flower heads.
Lower Hutt’s first public gardens were laid out in 1923 as a labour of love by Hutt Horticultural Society stalwart, George Chapman. The Lower Hutt Horticultural Society, which has had a long relationship with the Garden, has been influential in helping to establish a planting palette and the character of the various sites in the upgraded gardens.