Domain's first cultural themed garden to help celebrate diversity

The community is invited to attend the opening of the Ashburton Domain’s very first cultural themed garden on Saturday 10 November. Through the Welcoming Communities initiative, the Ashburton District Council Open Spaces team have been working with the Ashburton Indian Multicultural Trust to create a cultural themed garden that recognises the district’s growing cultural and ethnic diversity.

The Indian themed garden is intended to help create even more welcoming public spaces where newcomers and local community me​mbers can feel welcome, make connections and learn about each other and their cultures.

Council Open Spaces staff and the Ashburton Indian Multicultural Trust members have designed, raised seedlings and will recreate an ‘Om’ symbol in the triangle flowerbed near the waterwheel and duck pond in the Domain. In Hinduism and Buddhism the ‘Om’ symbol is a sound and is a powerful mantra often used in meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices and is of great importance to the Indian culture.

The symbol will be planted using the marigold flower, which is of great importance and prominence in the Indian culture, often used in special occasions and celebrations.  A boarder of verbena and lobelia flowers in purples and blues will complement the symbol planting, helping to recognise the Fijian Indian influence across the culture.

“We are very proud to be working with the Ashburton Indian Multicultural Trust on this garden. The Domain is a great place for people to relax, spend time with friends and family and enjoy the gardens. Naturally, those new to our district have embraced the Domain in the same way as residents who’ve been here for many years. It’s great that we can showcase different cultures and let the people that live here see their culture reflected around them in one of the district’s most popular sites,” Council Open Spaces Manager, David Askin says.

“This project has been challenging for us in terms of design, but it has also raised awareness of other cultures. It has given us - and will give visitors to the Domain, the opportunity to build their appreciation of another culture and to celebrate and embrace who we are as a district. As this themed garden is a seasonal planting, we hope that there may be an opportunity each year to work with different cultural groups in the district to design and showcase a themed cultural garden,” Mr Askins adds.

The garden planting will begin on Friday 9 November and will be completed on the morning of Saturday 10 November, prior to the garden opening at 11.30am. A free barbeque will then be provided (first in, first served). In the event of very wet weather, the opening will not go ahead, however the garden will still be planted to be enjoyed until late summer. ​

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Page reviewed: 07 Nov 2018 10:15am