Eleven thousand native plants. Ten years ago, the Bay of Many Coves opened it’s doors and along with the outstanding architecture and cedar structures blending in with the natural habitat of the Sounds, there were plantings of thousands of native trees and bushes throughout the property. On top of that, the 52 hectares of the resort’s grounds is a haven for native foliage and shrubs, from Beech trees to Rimus, ferns to flax, hebes to horoeka, ponga to pepper-plants and plenty of kanuka and manuka.
In spring 2010, we again undertook a major facelift with eradicating non-natives and extending the plantings to ensure the native birds had a welcome habitat. Now we have gone one step further, introducing plant identification signage so our domestic and international gusts can learn and appreciate the diversity and natural flora of the region.
And the projects are on-going, such as titivating our Nikau ‘grove’ which is a special place to sit and contemplate, or even get married in as one special couple did recently.
There is not always a lot of colour in the natives, but the many different greens have their own beauty. Yet there are some welcome hues of the sprigs of white and purple hebe, the red
kakabeak, the yellow kowhai, the white flowers of the kanuka and of course the southern rata, or New Zealand Christmas tree, close relative of the Pohutakawa, blooms vivid red clusters.
The lancewood is an amazing specimen, with spikey young shoots and yet the mature lancewood boasts a bushy leaf. Legend has it that this ‘horoeka,’ as it is named in Maori, evolved as a response to Moa browsing, that once the trees grew above Moa height, there was no longer the need for the ‘shark-tooth’ like leaf. Known as ‘heteroblasty’ – with distinct juvenile and adult form – the other scientific theories relate to growth re climate or energy for growing height vs branches, eitherway the Moa story is brilliant!
Kawakawa is plentiful and the guests enjoy ‘Kawakawa fire tea’ – the leaves of the pepper plant with some ginger – a spicy and refreshing breakfast tea. It is extremely versatile, in that you may find the Maori waving it at a Tangi, or boiling it up for pain relief or bruising.
More plantings are planned for July, further afield than within the resort confines, with a citrus grove and a native tree grove planned, the latter to include rimu, rewa rewa, totara, miro, tanekaha, tawa, pigeonwood, mahoewao, mahoe, kotukutuku, rohutu southern rata, wineberry, hinau, silver black and mountain beech plus cabbage trees, ……
Endless projects, endless beauty, pure nature.