Studio potter Rick Rudd has created "Elements" on a steeply sloping, exposed, sandy site with stunning sea views. The focus of this half-acre garden is on form and texture. it incorporates exclusively native plants with installations of innovate and unusual materials, most of them from the beach, to give underlying structure to the planting.
Begun in 2000, the garden was first opened to the public for the 2001 Whanganui Blooming Arts Festival. In 2007 it was assessed as a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Garden Trust.
To arrange a garden and/or studio visit please phone Rick (06 344
Open by appointment only.
The garden has many "elements" within, and begins with formally arranged terraces. Ceramics, glass, shells, pebbles and holey stones from the beach are showcased in these areas along with a variety of astelias and raoulias and some of Rick's ceramic works.
From these terraces the garden descends less formally through pumice terraces with pachystegias (left) and a coprosma bank, where the prostrate coprosmas creep over and through layers of driftwood (below).
The bottom of the slope is densely clothed with a collection of coastal and alpine plants forming a grey/green patchwork (below left). The journey may be tricky, with some uneven paths and difficult steps, but the rewards are worth the effort.
In what was a swamp a series of pools and ponds have been developed to create the "waterways" (right). Included are walkways, a bridge and large expanses of pumice. In summer, the remains of the swamp are dominated by bulrushes intersected by a long boardwalk passage.
Scattered throughout the garden are rare, endangered and unusual plants. Although at certain times of the year some plants are at their best, this garden can be enjoyed in all seasons because of the sculptural landscaping and structural planting.