The Easter Bunny has a dilemma. In his excitement to explore the new TECT Heritage Garden at The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga, he’s tripped over his basket and all his Easter eggs have gotten lost again.
It’s been a couple of years since the Easter Bunny has been able to visit the historic gardens, due to the Covid lockdown last year, so he is egg-static to be back.
The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga garden is one of the oldest New Zealand European gardens south of the Bay of Islands. Originally created by the Church Missionary Society between 1834 and 1844, as were The Treaty House gardens at Waitangi, they now include the TECT Heritage Garden which was opened to the public in February 2020. The pavilion in the new garden was inspired by the original raupo whare built by tangata whenua for Archdeacon Alfred Brown and Charlotte Brown to reside in when they settled in 1838.
The wood for the carvings on the bargeboard of the pavilion came from the piles of the old Town Wharf.
The oval garden bed around the pavilion recreates a feature that existed in the 1840s, which was lovingly tended by Alfred’s daughter Celia, but was lost from the site with the passage of time.
Within the oval bed are plants of functional and ornamental value, all with botanical and historical interest.
Elms gardener Troy Edgecombe discovered in 2018 that the Easter Bunny was keen to visit on the Thursday before Easter, so invited the children from over the road at the Elm Tree Early Learning Centre to come and help find all the missing eggs. He’s invited them back again this year, on what is looking to become an annual Easter egg hunt.
“After Covid, I think the kids at Elm Tree need to get over to see a certain bunny,” says Troy.
Previously, the Easter Bunny lost his eggs on the north lawn, but this year he’s also lost many of them in the Heritage Garden as well. The children will be over on Thursday morning to help find them.
The Elms | Te Papa Tauranga at 15 Mission St, Tauranga will be open every day during Easter from 10am – 4pm. For entry details, visit: www.theelms.org.nz
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