Wellington’s Cliff Gardens

One thing I love about Wellington at this time of year (and it’s not the wind) is that we get this amazing burst of spring wildflowers.

Wildflowers
Spring flowers in Wellington
Wildflowers
A tapestry of wildflowers

The photos above are deceptive. The only way you’d be able to pick a posy in this wildflower meadow would be if you were wearing an abseiling harness. Our wildflowers are found on the steepest of all the hillsides. These cliffs frequently shed crumbling rock onto the roads below  and are held up in places by chicken wire, installed by abseiling workers, in an effort to protect the drivers beneath. That’s how steep they are.

Cliff garden above Hutt Road, Wellington. Hopefully the lighting pole gives a sense of the height of the hill.

Still not impressed? This cliff faces south and is about 100 metres from the harbour, so is exposed to nasty cold southerlies and salt spray. Its wonderful, and surprising, what will grow here!

Wildflowers
Wildflowers on Ngaio Gorge Road
More wildflowers
More wildflowers plus a few natives, about 100 feet above the road
Vertical gardening
Vertical gardening done with no human help.

I could get all philosophical here about transience, survival, or beauty in unlikely places. But really I just want to point them out and say ‘enjoy’.

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