Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood
Any account of the amusements of Christchurch would be incomplete without some reference to the Horticultural Shows held in the city and in the suburbs. In this matter, as in many others, Christchurch has led the way, the first show having been held when the settlement was only a few months old. Since then they have been pretty regularly opened. For many years the Christchurch Horticultural Society has been in existence, and has done good work in encouraging attention to this most beautiful occupation. The exhibitions held under it have been generally of a high order; and, latterly, have rivalled those to be seen in many English provincial towns of far greater pretensions than ours. As the suburbs have increased, societies have sprung up in them, notably—in Addington, Papanui, and Merivale. Juvenile clubs have also been formed, the Foresters Juvenile in particular having achieved a very fair amount of success. To the influence of these societies Christchurch and page 140its neighbourhood owes its chief beauties, having probably, for its size and age, more gardens—from that of the cottage to those attached to the houses of the richer classes—displaying greater wealth of bloom and colour than any other city in the colony.
Beyond comparison, the grounds of the professional gardeners in and about our city, surpass those to be seen elsewhere in New Zealand as regards size, cultivation, and the quality of the plants. No visitor to Christchurch should fail to inspect them. A brief description of some of them will be interesting to our readers, and we give it below. The Public Gardens, situated in the Park, we have already described.