Greening the Rubble

I was driving home after my digital camera class this afternoon when a rather large sign caught my eye, so I stopped to check it out and look what I found!


This temporary park is the creation of Greening the Rubble, a community initiative which sprang up after the earthquakes.

As their website says, Greening the Rubble creates temporary public parks and gardens on sites of demolished buildings, usually in commercial rather than residential streets. Licence agreements with site owners, modest financial support from these owners, and extensive sponsorship of the construction materials and design process make it possible for volunteer teams to build and maintain these parks, which add colour and, in many cases, a touch of whimsy to the much altered, post-earthquake face of Christchurch.

This particular garden is sited on the corner of Wordsworth and Colombo Streets, in an area of south Christchurch which saw a number of older buildings destroyed in the earthquakes, leaving many empty sites such as this one.

Those pesky graffiti vandals have been at work, I see 😦

Love the fake ‘grass’! 🙂

Oh, look, another use for more of those recycled pallets! 🙂

And another example of recycled seating and table 🙂

DSCF4416 cropped
Pretty cosmos, such a cheerful little flower 🙂

Anyone for a game of noughts and crosses?

And a lovely little brick ‘courtyard’ adds a touch of class … 🙂

Although Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler work together on many projects, they are actually two separate organisations, both doing their very best to lighten the hearts and souls of Christchurch residents: good on them!

And one final picture for today …


My letter box, complete with spider web – poor spider, since his web is attached to the opening flap of the letter box, which is opened once in the morning (by the mailman should he have something to deliver), and once in the evening (by me on my return home, to see if anything has been delivered), he must have to rebuild his web once or twice every day: I feel quite guilty about checking for my mail, now! 🙂 🙂 🙂


5 thoughts on “Greening the Rubble

  1. Pingback: Giraffe hunting – Part 1 | Me 'n' Henry Lee

    • Hey, Rhys, thanks very much for clarifying this! I think what you guys (and the Gap Filler team) do is fantastic – it makes me smile every time I pass by one of your projects, so a huge thanks for bringing a little colour and fun into the rubble 🙂

  2. Jill, if you click on the “Greening the Rubble” link above (just under the first photo), it takes you to their “About Us” page and gives information on how it all got started, etc – my reading of it is that everyone involved is a volunteer, with the group having been started by community-minded people who are professionals in their sphere of work, and they then attracted other volunteers who do the actual physical work. Although I’m sure the professionals are involved in the physical stuff as well, I hasten to add! It’s really neat, isn’t it? There are that many empty sections around with all the deconstruction that’s taken place, and to suddenly come across something like this gives the spirits a real lift – I love the slightly quirky sense of humour that comes through on them too, eg with the signs at the Pallet Pavilion and the fake grass at this one.

  3. Your Gap Filler people are brilliant, and so inventive! Are they just volunteers or have they been employed specifically for their out of the ordinary ideas?


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