Saturday, August 9, 2014

Christchurch's Own Tropical Jungle Conservatory

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Since the 2011 Earthquake the Hagley Park botanical conservatory- Cunningham House has been closed for earthquake repairs...and now it's finally open again! This was one of my favourite little places to escape to in Christchurch, like a tropical oasis in our wintery city, So Andrew and I made some time last weekend on a beautiful sunny afternoon to visit the reopened building. 
Cunningham House was originally opened in 1923. In the early days of Christchurch's establishment it was a very "English" city, so the pioneers brought with them British gardening traditions. Cunningham House is a good example of this; The Victorians used to make exhibitions out of exotic, far away curiosities including ancient artefacts, taxidermy animals, objects and botanics. This era of thinking is evident in the building in its tall airy windows and layout so the plants can be looked at like a museum exhibit. It's such a beautiful collection of tropical jungle plants that you wouldn't normally find growing in cold Canterbury! 
In a nod to monumental buildings, I wore my Renaissance chapel tights which reminded me a little of the structure of the conservatory (Minus the winged cherubs!) The airy white blouse is vintage, belonging to my Mum in the 80's (Thanks Mum!) I love it because I can wear it loose and baggy or tie it into a crop top. I'm always trying to incorporate at least one retro/ vintage/ op-shop item into my outfit...This blouse looks so chic you can hardly tell that it's from the 80's! I look for any excuse to wear a hat and it was such a sunny winter day outside that I needed it! Bring on the beautiful spring sunshine!


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