Near the airport, on the side of one of the busiest roads in Christchurch, is an oasis of calm and loveliness. It is the Avice Hill Reserve, so called because the area was bequeathed to the city by Avice Hill, the Lavender Lady. It is also home to the Avice Hill Crafts Centre, the Canterbury Potters Association and the Canterbury Herb Society. We visited today and had the entire Reserve to ourselves; except for the birds.
The birds, many and varied, were concentrated in the plum trees. One of trees was over laden with small, yellow, sweet and ultra delicious, plums. Some went in my mouth and some in to my pocket, and they were so good I need to collect some more.
and then information to read. Notice, I am on a wayward path again because the information board is at the entrance to the Reserve and I am reading it on my way out!
This is Avice Hill. She was born in 1906 and died in 2001.
She worked as an entomologist in the 1930s and 40s. She was one of only a few female science graduates at that time.
She bequeathed the land to Christchurch City in 1989 to provide an art and crafts facility, a potters’ room and a herb garden and to protect the mature trees on the property.
Lavender was Avice Hill’s great love and the Lavandula angustifolia “Avice Hill” was named after her. It is, apparently, a very fine lavender. Strangely, there was very little lavender to be seen in the Reserve and none was labelled,as far as I could tell. Perhaps, one is just supposed to know one’s lavender. Whatever is the case, I am thankful to Avice Hill for her gift to our city.