Pocket Forest Plant Species
Kōwhai is one of the best-known native plants in New Zealand. At times considered as the unofficial national flower of the country. It’s also an important source of seasonal nectar, benefiting a host of native birds. The Maori also believe it has many medicinal properties .
Cabbage Tree is the most distinct tree in the New Zealand landscape. They grow all over the country, usually on wet, open areas like swamps. Cabbage trees are pleasing to the eye because of their bluish-white, scented flowers that bloom during summer, and provide food for insects and birds.
Pohutukawa has become an established part of the New Zealand Christmas tradition. This iconic Kiwi Christmas tree also hold a prominent place in Maori tradition. Legends tell of Tawhaki, a young Maori warrior, who attempted to find heaven to seek help in avenging the death of his father. He fell to earth and the crimson flowers are said to represent his blood.
Toetoe are an iconic native tall grasses of the New Zealand landscape. Most New Zealanders would be familiar with toetoe, perhaps having played with the flowering stems as a child. The Māori used the toetoe leaves to make baskets, kites, mats, wall linings and roof thatching to name a few.
Harakeke (flax) represents the whānau (family) in Māori thought. The rito (shoot) is the child. It is protectively surrounded by the awhi rito (parents). The outside leaves represent the tūpuna (grandparents and ancestors). This flax is unique to New Zealand and is one of our most ancient plant species. the bushes often support large communities of animals and insects, providing shelter and an abundant food resource.
Swamp Kiokio is a native New Zealand fern often found growing in wetlands with Harakeke.
These species are all attracted to and enjoy nectar from the flax flower, kowhai, pohutukawa and any other flowers growing in this forest.
- Bellbird/ Korimako
- NZ Saddlebacks/Tīeke
- Native New Zealand gecko
- Numerous amounts of insects
The forest bathing experience I want to provide my guests is quite sensory. The kinds of sounds you will be able to hear in my bathhouse is the many water features which creates that relaxing and tranquil trickling sound. This is provided by the features water fountain, trickling wall, and infinity pools, where water pours and flows into another then out into the forest then back to the fountain source.
You will also be able to hear the lovely bird and insect sounds from the bathing area with the large open window, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the sounds, greenery and flower colours, forest and bathhouse textures etc.
Around most of the walls and columns of the bathhouse I have English Ivy vines cascading down which bring the nature of the lush green forest inside. It also makes for a old Roman historical look. The native New Zealand, recycled Rimu slats attached to the ceiling ties the room together, further enhancing the experience of being one with our New Zealand environment.
Lighting– There are also many light features in the bathhouse creating ambiance and warmth. This includes a warm white strip light along the top of the trickling wall, along the bottom of each step into the pool, under the bar table and a ring light around bathroom mirrors. These lights aren’t too bright or harsh so that the focus is still on the forest and center point of fountain.