by St Paul's Collegiate School

Tihoi themed walkway

From the Chapel a walkway now meanders through 218 specimen trees and 106 native grasses. The design brief to Tony Murrell, landscape designer, was to create a garden that represented and acknowledged our second campus, Tihoi Venture School.

With over 300 hours of manpower, natures garden has become part of our school community. The nectar from the flowering flaxes has attracted new birdlife and the calls from Tuis in the Kowhai can be heard by passersby.

In time as the garden grows it will reveal hidden lawns with logs and stepping stones where students can read a book or spend time with friends. Students are starting to access the path through the garden to get to Chapel each day.

Five truckloads of mulch were worked into the garden to provide a living earth layer whereby the mulch breaks down to provide beneficial nutrients for the trees, insects, and worm loving birds. The soil was also contoured up around the large camellia trees to create a sustainable watering system so, when the Waikato rain pours it will run back down to water the garden.

The upkeep of the garden is now in the expert hands of Aron Beet, head of grounds and maintenance and Darryn Reidy, head gardener. Together they have the delicate job of keeping the balance right between the messy look of a natural bush garden and keeping it looking tidy on our school grounds.

Long term the garden will be used to propagate carbon copies of the natives. These cuttings will be grown on the school site and the ground staff will use them in future gardens, reducing the overall cost of purchasing new plants for new gardens.