THE OASIS OF MOTUKARARA.
Anyone who draws up at the Motu-karar-u, station and views tbe bleak surroundings of a dry wind swept area with here and there a house and a few pious insignu3 to relieve an otherwise ' itearv und monotonous scene, would euCHly imagine that within a few unid'ed ytndc) of the station there art and hot houses con aining plants from all over the world, with also a very complete collection of ftHve • trees, shrubs and ferns. But .icb M the care, and tucked away jus oside a fine belt of proucfing pinu in tbe Domain, tbere flour isbes beautiful gardens with shrubs, flowers and fern?. These gardens are under the* capable care of a man who is a keen gardener, who has controlled cbe gardens for many years now, and gradually collected an extended variety of species in native trees, plants and ferns, besides many beautiful foreign •plants.
When one strolls through into 'these gardens he i 3 first struck with the inomoly which is the conversion of he bare sand* area into one of fertiie properties. This has been brought -ibout by the egency of a , fine watei supply and careful manuring by the caretaker until he has a (mtue und -ighfc coil, which, being well protected, is very early, and produces really fine specimens. The water supp'.y was ivCalled by the Domain Board, cf which Mr T. Quealy i 3 th« very <»ne'getic hon. sec, and is pumped by r !jean3 of a windmill from an artesion •o a spacious tank at the top of Hubbiii'lsland. TLh<- t.nuk .-uipplieH tb ■ vhole of the gadniis, arid also tL< nier i-'-i 'he. race coutse. A s.uV> hiough the gardciiH is leally worth ■(.nyoQe'a while,' and there are many visitors from Cbristchurcb during tbe year who run out in their cart- , , and have their lunch in the gardens under the tree 3. The first feature of, tbe gardens which is brought to your notice as you pass in the gate is tbe fine little glass bouse substantially built, an , ! just now crowded with pots> of flowers, geraniums, and cacti, be sidee many ferns, both native and foreign. It is a blaze of bloom, and ig always kept full of bloom. Then a little further on is a fine fernery with a fountain in u the (centre, and a little further on a rockery and a fountain and pond The rockery plants: include most of tbe natives, and eonif from the Himalayas, and tbe collection is a valuable one. '" In the gardens there are. some beautiful shrubs, and in addition come fine bulbs and annuals. Plants grow here whicb would be cut down in Christeburch by the winter frosts. Orje strange plant which is bearing fruit just now is a Japanese quince. Tbe fruit looks like an apple, but woe betide the little boy who takes a vigorous bite, for tbe fruit >3 as hard as a rock, The smallest apple in the world and many othfer plant curiosities are found bore. Th> cacti; in the green house are vnry finp indeed, and tbtir strange flower- me really beautiful.
The Domain Board spends? qui'r- n toe of raonpy to keep this gimieu up to standard!, and it is really worth visiting, especially in the summer wnen everything is in bloom.
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THE OASIS OF MOTUKARARA., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4390, 24 April 1914