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Monday, August 04, 2014

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Lincoln, Did you know?

Monday, August 04, 2014

The services in the small towns primarily serve the surrounding community. The major exception is the town of Lincoln, home to a University and a number of Crown Research Institutes and other organisations concerned with scientific research.

The Selwyn District as a unit of government was formed in 1989 from a legislated merger of the Malvern and Ellesmere counties, along with a portion of Paparua County.


The town of Lincoln like many rural towns has a strong community heart. With the more recent expansion following the 2010 Earthquakes the town has had exponential growth. This hasn’t overwhelmed the town’s heart; it appears to have strengthened it. By walking around the town it soon becomes evident these folk are very friendly and welcoming and most seem only too happy to embrace the town’s new population. With people going out of their way to make eye contact and engage in conversation, Lincoln optimizes the spirit of small town New Zealand.

Lincoln has many interesting community involvements one which stands out for me is "The Lincoln Community Garden" which is part of a growing network of community gardens throughout New Zealand. What impresses me; this project hasn’t just recently happened due to the fashionable trend of developing gardens in and around a town. It was established way back in 1997 by the Lincoln Envirotown Trust way. Lincoln indeed has a very bright future. There are lots of plans for the towns centre with a number of interesting developments to meet the needs of its growing population. One new project well underway and will hopefully be ready before Christmas is a bar and restaurant called "The Laboratory" This promises to be an innovative build using many recycled materials. The owners of this new business are the same people that owned the renowned and legendary establishment called The Twisted Hop in Poplar Street central city Christchurch posts earthquake of 2010.

Look out for my next post.


Post1. More facts about the Selwyn District:

Friday, August 01, 2014

Geographical Features: Selwyn District contains within it two distinct regions: the plains and the high country.
The plains, where most of the population lives and the majority of activity takes place, form an expanse of low-lying, flat, and comparatively dry grassland. The extreme south-east is dominated by Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora), an expanse of water surrounded by marshes, formed by the out-flow of the Selwyn River. The tributaries of the Selwyn River include the Waianiwaniwa, Hororata and the Hawkins Rivers.

The high country is a sparsely-populated region, mainly consisting of hill and mountain ranges and narrow river valleys. Most of the high country is grassland, including some tussock lands; areas of beech forest remain within the Craigieburn Forest Park and the Arthurs Pass National Park.

Population: The total population of Selwyn District was 44,595 in the 2013 Census. 2013 Census information confirmed that Selwyn District is the fastest growing area of New Zealand. Selwyn’s population grew from 33,642 to 44,595 between 2006 and 2013, a 33% increase. The average growth for New Zealand as a whole during that period was 5.3%.

Approximately half the population lives in the various towns and villages in the district, while the remainder are on farms. 95% of the population live on the plains. The largest towns are Darfield, Leeston, Lincoln, Prebbleton, Templeton and Rolleston which is also the home of the Council's main office. The towns of Springfield and Sheffield are on State Highway 73, where the foothills start to rise from the Canterbury Plains.

Climate: The plains have a temperate climate, characterised by warm, dry summers and cool winters. The Southern Alps are responsible for the relatively low rainfall, and also lead to a foehn wind, the "Canterbury Nor'Wester". This strong, hot and dry wind is most common in spring and summer, and on occasion reaches damage-causing strength. In the mountain country of the Southern Alps, conditions are much colder and wetter.

In the coming posts I will be talking about the largest towns of Darfield, Leeston, Lincoln, Prebbleton, Templeton and Rolleston. I will also touch on other small communities such as West Melton, Kirwee. Also Springfield and Sheffield these are on State Highway 73, where the foothills start to rise from the Canterbury Plains

The Immense Benefits of A Front Garden

Thursday, July 31, 2014

This blog spot is devoted to the underestimated benefits of the common front garden … this information is from a British Television programme called 'It's time to save Britain's front gardens'

My conclusion is this programme was a fantastic inspiring account of how gardens have such a positive effect on us as individuals our community and more importantly the planet. These posts will provide positive inspiration and motivation to embrace these ideas. Although New Zealander are keen gardeners, these posts will enlighten and remind us why we must continue to plant trees and shrubs and how gardens in general impact positively on human beings:

Post one:

It's time to save Britain's front gardens:

Front gardens kept passing traffic at arm's length and were places to grow flowers or chat with neighbours. During the dark days of the Second World War they helped drive the Dig for Victory campaign which prevented the nation from starving. Later the well-manicured front garden with its privet hedge was at the heart of suburbia.

As car ownership grew millions of front gardens were covered in concrete to provide parking spaces. At the same time kerbs were dropped, hedges ripped out and grass verges lost. Entire streets of Victorian terraces and Edwardian semis were caught up in the craze.

In the past 25 years it's estimated the number of hard-standing areas for cars in UK residential areas has doubled. In the process about four million front gardens have been lost - also to make room for bicycles, dustbins and recycling boxes or becoming dumping grounds for junk.

It has been calculated the space that has been gobbled up nationally is equivalent to 100 Hyde Parks and this culling of front gardens is having a dramatic impact on our lives.

The risk of flooding has increased, we're less likely to meet and get to know our neighbours and wildlife has suffered.

It's even claimed the trend for off-street parking has created a crime wave because we're spending less time outside the front of our homes.

BUT now a campaign to rejuvenate front gardens will feature in an episode of a new BBC Two series Great British Garden Revival. Presenter and gardener Joe Swift says: "In the past our front gardens were highly valued and we used them to show off our horticultural prowess … more to follow keep a look out for post two.

Landscaping is an Art Form.. A useable artform

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Landscape is enjoying huge growth, not only in New Zealand but in many countries throughout the world. This has been due to a few significant influencing factors.

  • Greater public awareness due to media, TV programmes centred around how landscaping can transform a property and its benefits
  • Greater public awareness of how just how emotionally beneficial a lovely garden environment can be
  • An accepted awareness of the financial gain by investing your money wisely into using a professional to ensure a property owner can get the very best return on their money spent.
  • Greater awareness of the benefits that our outdoor environment has on us as humans
  • Greater awareness of the influence our own personal land space has on the greater environment

Did you know with professional landscape planning ... you can return $3-$4 for every dollar spent? Not bad when you consider it provides not only the monetary benefit but can also use it, enjoy it, share it with family and friends etc. Your living outdoor environment can also have a huge positive effect on our emotional wellbeing.
Landscaping usually starts with design:

Using the design process as a tool. Making sure everything is worked out and planned carefully. This way the property owner will get everything they want from the given space when it's maximised. We spend a lot of money buying and owning property here in New Zealand. It's hugely important we get the fundamentals right and be sure the results we achieve are both the right fit for us personally and for our lifestyle. With careful planning we can benefit emotionally, be stimulated (getting that feel good factor from your garden) this should never be under estimated.

The dollars we outlay must deliver the very best possible return! We must also remember the money we will save by avoiding costly mistakes.

Planning is like a road map to follow, making sure we avoid delays and costly mistakes. It’s a guarantee we will arrive at our destination as quickly and as affordably as possible and to ensure we will be well satisfied with the result when we safely arrive.


Selwyn District My Home Turf

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Some facts, did you know:

The Selwyn District is a predominantly rural area in central Canterbury, on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. It is named after the Selwyn River, which is in turn named after Bishop George Selwyn, the first Anglican bishop of New Zealand who, in 1843 and 1844, travelled the length of the country by horse, foot, boat and canoe, leaving in his wake a sprinkling of locations that now bear his name.

Most of Selwyn's new residents have moved from Christchurch to settle on small "lifestyle" farms and in Selwyn's small towns which are within easy commuting distance of the city (e.g. Rolleston, Prebbleton, Lincoln, West Melton, Kirwee). Rolleston is the largest town in Selwyn.

Selwyn, Waimakiriri and Queenstown-Lakes were the three fastest-growing districts in the country in the seven years since the last census.

The first comprehensive snapshot of population change in Canterbury since the earthquakes has been revealed by Statistics New Zealand, showing the dramatic population shifts in the region.

Of the 10 areas with the fastest population growth since 2006, half were in the Canterbury region.

The Selwyn District was the fastest-growing territorial authority area, increasing by a third to 44,595 people, the 2013 census shows

Christchurch must learn from other sucessful countries Entry one:

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Green Living

Creating a green and sustainable society is one of the key goals for Denmark. More than 20 per cent of Denmark's energy already comes from renewable energy, and the goal is to reach 100 per cent by 2050. Much of the renewable energy comes from wind turbines, where Denmark is a world leader when it comes to developing new technology.

Bicycle Culture

The Danes are well known for their love of cycling, and cities all around the world are now looking at ways to copy this phenomenon. It really is biking heaven for the cyclist in Copenhagen with over 390 kilometers of designated bike lanes.

The Danish cycling culture is another example of a green and sustainable society and Copenhagen alone has around 400 km of cycle paths, and about 40 per cent of the capital's population commute to work by bicycle. Copenhagen is one of the best bicycle cities in the world - but the plan is to make it even better by building a lot of new green bicycle lanes around Copenhagen. This means that bikes will be separated from motorized traffic, which will make it safer and easier for the cyclists to get around. The goal of the city is that in 2015, 50 per cent of commuting will be done by bike, thus lowering annual CO2 emission by 80,000 tons.

Wind Energy

It’s windy in Denmark, which helps explain why Denmark is so skilled at capturing the power of the wind. With 28 per cent wind power in the electricity system, Denmark is a nation that many others are looking to in order to discover sustainable energy solutions for the future. However, plentiful wind is not necessarily synonymous with a strong wind industry. Denmark's achievement in bringing 28 per cent wind power into the electricity system is built on several key factors, that together have made Denmark the world’s Wind Power Hub.

First-mover in wind power

Denmark’s role as a first-mover in both onshore and offshore wind power has been important. The lessons learned through the early years of setting up wind turbines across the nation have been pivotal. The industry has developed through innovative thinking and experience which have helped create core competencies in production, design and installation of wind turbines that are sought after worldwide. To date, Danish companies have installed more than 90 per cent of the world's offshore wind turbines. With a constant aim of bringing down the cost of energy, Denmark expects to remain the dominant player in the offshore wind turbine market for years to come. Europe's offshore wind power capacity is expected to see a tenfold increase, just in this decade!

Wind power – a strong competitor

Danes are positive about wind power. Recent surveys show that most of the population would welcome more wind energy in the electricity system. Denmark is also a progressive country in its energy policy, which supports an increase in renewable energy – and wind in particular. Political support rests on the fact that onshore wind power is cost competitive with any type of newly built electricity generating technology and that wind is inexhaustible, stable and forever free-of-charge. Based on the above factors, the wind industry today is part of the backbone of the export earnings of theDanish economy.

Moving towards a sustainable future

The world faces many obstacles in the battle against fossil fuels and climate change. Denmark sees many good reasons for continuing the development of wind power, and the government has set the target of 50 per cent wind power in the electricity system by 2020. Although ambitious, the target is in line with the overall vision to make Denmark completely free of dependence on fossil fuels by 2050. At that time the Danish energy system will consist purely of renewable energy, with wind being the

Wind is a major industry in Denmark employing around 25,000 people, and wind energy supplies more than 25 per cent of the electricity consumed in Denmark. The goal is to reach 50 per cent by 2020.

Copenhagen - the first carbon neutral capital in the world

Mayors, town planners and politicians from all over the world have often visited Copenhagen in recent years to study its bicycle traffic, district heating system or its waste management. In various respects Copenhagen is a role model for many of the world’s big cities when it comes to sustainable town development.

Green rooftops

Meet a green rooftop enthusiast who takes you for sightseeing in Copenhagen to show you some of the city's green roofs.

Work/Life Balance - the Danish way

Could it be that the Danes are always being voted the happiest people in the world because of their healthy balance between work and private life?

Denmark prides itself on having a healthy work-life balance. The Danish welfare model, with its flexible working conditions and social support networks, including maternity leave and childcare facilities, not only puts Denmark at the top of the international equality league table, but also contributes to a generally high standard of living.

Today, work-life balance has become a debate about how much we allow work to consume us. For some, work is a major priority, while for others family and leisure time are valued more highly. There are as many work-life balance equations as there are individuals

Yet many countries are now trying to emulate the Danish quality of life and generally high standard of living. Four families living In Denmark tell us about their own experience of work-life balance.


Work-life balance literally means prioritising between work (career and ambition) on the one hand and life (health, pleasure, leisure, spirituality and family) on the other.

Danes enjoy a high degree of flexibility at work – often being able to choose when they start their working day and having the flexibility of working from home.

The lunch break is often at a designated time each day, enabling colleagues to interact and eat together, thus getting away from their desks.

There is a minimum 5 weeks’ paid holiday for all wage earners.

The Danish welfare society is characterized by quality of life and a good work-life balance.

HOME SWEET HOME - How do Danes live?

For a small country with only 5.5 million inhabitants, the Danes have a high profile abroad. Whether it’s regarding world-class design, cinema, TV crime thrillers or new Nordic food, Denmark regularly makes international headlines. Denmark is well known for having the highest taxes in the world and one of the highest standards of living in Western Europe. It is also one of the most egalitarian countries in the world, while each year the Danes give 0.8% of their Gross National Income to foreign aid.

Find out some interesting facts below and learn more by reading personal stories from Danes about their homes and lifestyles.


Denmark has very generous maternity leave for both parents. Children born in 2011 were happy to see that their parents stayed at home to look after them for 311 days after their birth. The mothers accounted for the greater part with 295 days, while the fathers had 36 days.

Immigrants and descendants

In January 2013, immigrants and descendants comprised 10.7 per cent of the total Danish population (600,674 persons) – about 8.1 per cent are immigrants and 2.6 per cent are descendants. 54 per cent of all immigrants and descendants originate from a European country.

Together they represent about 200 different countries. Turkey, Germany, and Poland represent the highest shares of immigrants and descendants.

Danes love of democracy – Electoral turnout

In connection with the first four elections in the 1970s, more than 87 per cent of the electorate exercised their right to vote. Subsequent elections have attracted fluctuating electoral turnout, with the minimum rate being 82.8 per cent in 1990.The latest general election attracted 87.7 per cent of all voters. The electoral turnout in Denmark is among the highest in Europe.

So what's a Beatle doing at London's Chelsea flower show?

Monday, July 08, 2013

What is a former-Beatle doing, year in year out, at a gardening show? Check out this interview with Ringo Starr at the Chelsea Flower Show, 2013.

Christchurch's Botanic Gardens celebrates 150 years!

Sunday, June 30, 2013
From a solitary oak planted in 1863, Christchurch's botanic gardens have flourished, becoming the heart of the garden city. Through depression, war and earthquakes the gardens remain a jewel in the centre of Christchurch, a permanent monument to the beauty of the natural world and a symbol of growth and renewal. The gardens now feature one of the finest collections of exotic and native plants in New Zealand. In 2013.

Events throughout 2013 will celebrate the growth and successes of the gardens. Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker launched the start of the anniversary with the planting of the rare Wollemi Pine, a tree found in the fossil record dating to 200 million years ago and thought to be extinct. Christchurch’s Wollemi Pine is the first to be planted in New Zealand and is the start of what will become the Gondwana Garden, an innovative new feature that will recreate an environment here in Christchurch similar to the forests that grew during the Jurassic period when the continents of the southern hemisphere were joined together, forming a super continent known as Gondwanaland.

For information about events at Christchurch's botanic gardens click here.

Sometimes Small is Good!

Friday, May 31, 2013
Small gardens and courtyards can be just as challenging as a larger space, but sometimes small is good. Learn how we transformed a small site and uninspiring site into a Merivale oasis in our case study section