Monday, 29 September 2014

Sunken Gardens

This garden is the place where originally there was a tennis court.  This garden was formed in 1968.  It is a hidden treasure as it is below road level and is a tranquil area for city workers to lunch in.  Flights of stairs between pohutakawa trees (a New Zealand native tree) lead down to the garden.

The cast iron lamp is one of nine gas lamp posts that were converted to carbon arc in 1915 that were originally along Marine Parade.  They pay tribute to the work of George Swan the Mayor of Napier between 1885 and 1901.  

This piece of art was chosen from a public competition to be part of the garden.  It was paid for by Sir Lew and Lady Harris who did a lot for Napier.  The sculptor described his work as a bio-morphic form, floating like a giant water lily.  It was installed with lighting giving it even more appeal after dark however due to vandalism and theft that has had to be removed :(  

The waterwheel was built in 1911 and donated to the city by a Mrs Phillips who lived an hour and a half south of Napier.  It has an interesting history in itself.  It was used on the Phillips farm first as a source of power on a milk separator and butter churn.  Then it was used for shearing, sawing wood and pumping water.  Later in 1915, it was   linked to an electrical generator and produced electricity for the Phillip's six roomed house for the next 15 years.  It was renovated and installed in the gardens around 1967 - 1968.