Garden a friendly gesture

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INVERCARGILL’S Queens Park is set to have an infusion of Chinese culture.
The Invercargill City Council (ICC) has approved funding to establish a friendship garden in Queens Park in recognition of Invercargill’s sister city relationship with Suqian, China. The development is estimated to cost about $600,000.
ICC parks manager Robin Pagan said the Chinese garden would be located on a 1508sqm section of the park near the aviary and winter gardens.
‘‘This feature garden will be something the community can use and visitors will be interested in, attracting more people to Invercargill.’’
The garden would include a water feature, several small structures and paving, all designed to reflect the style of gardens seen in Suqian, he said.
Many of the plants for the garden were either already being grown by the reserves department or could be sourced from within New Zealand, he said.
Just as Invercargill will have a slice of Suqian, China in its backyard, so too will Suqian have aNew Zealand-inspired friendship garden in its Santai Mountain Park.
Mr Pagan said the New Zealandinspired garden would consist of indigenous vegetation as well as plants from around the world.
Not everyone is happy about the plan to establish a Chinese garden in Queens Park. Mr Pagan said he had received some feedback from people opposed to the plan, citing the money could be better spent on other things which would benefit the community more such as establishing a community garden in Queens Park.
The ICC had sufficient space in its other parks and reserves which could be converted into a community garden, he said.
‘‘There is definitely room in our parks and reserves to accommodate all facets of gardening.’’
The ICC would consider providing space for a community garden in its other parks and reserves, but a community group would be required to co-ordinate and manage it, he said.
Work on the Chinese garden was expected to start in late winter/early spring and be completed by the end of summer, he said.

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