Putting the garden back in the Garden City

Plans are afoot to turn the Garden City into the world's best 'edible garden', with community orchards and vege gardens already springing up across post-quake Christchurch.

The Otakaro Orchard could produce tonnes of fruit and vegetables on one of Christchurch's most badly damaged sites. Source: 1 NEWS

Just next door to the PGC site where 18 people died in the February 2011 earthquake, coriander and spinach are growing where there was rubble.

Chloe Waretini of the Otakaro Orchard project says it's a place to reflect on that tragedy and also to prepare, in case of another.

"In the post-quake environment, we realised that supermarkets only carry three days worth of food. And so if our supply chains get disrupted for some reason, then suddenly people realise that community gardens aren't just nice-to-haves, they're valuable assets."

There are more than 30 community gardens dotted across Christchurch and even some schools are getting on board to make their own.

Together, they've got the ability to provide greens for thousands of families every week.

The hope is to build a network of the gardens, cross-pollinating plants as well as people.

"That's what we're hoping, that the Otakaro Orchard will bring in that high-profile site, is to be the front door to that whole movement," Ms Waretini said.

They've got the land for development of the Otakaro Orchard and now all they need are the funds to do it.

"It's a really lovely project because there are so many layers to it. It's something that will hopefully turn into a really treasured public space," said Andrew Just, architect.

It's all in the name of putting the garden back in the Garden City.

If you would like to donate to the Otakaro Orchard go to Givealittle.