One of six concrete planting bays along the walkway on Rocks Rd. Photo: Kate Russell.

‘Ragged and horrible’ planters a hard fix


What used to be attractive, flower-filled planters on the Rocks Rd walkway are now an “eyesore”, according to a nearby resident – but Nelson City Council says it’s not an easy area to maintain.

Paul Lunberg says he walks past the six large concrete planters at Magazine Point a few times a week.

“They used to be covered in yellow flowers, now they are full of rocks, gravel and waste. They have gone from something fairly attractive to big gaps of ugliness. It really is an eyesore.”

Nelson Weekly took a stroll past the planters last week and saw cigarette butts, cans, plastic rubbish, McDonald’s cups, broken glass, old screws, bottle caps, weeds, debris and lots of ripped-up weed matting in them.

Paul says he would like to see Nelson City Council beautify the planters.

“I would imagine it would be a small outlay for quite a big return. Lots of people walk down there, including tourists, all day every day, and all they see is these ragged and horrible planters.”

However, council says although they do have plans to beautify them, it’s not a quick and easy task due to their proximity to the sea.

Rosie Bartlett, acting group manager community services, says the planters were “completely devastated” by last February’s storm and restoration is a “work in progress”.

“It is very challenging to maintain healthy plants in them as every time the sea water comes up over the footpath and into the planting areas, it damages and/or kills the plants.”

She says they are considering replanting the areas in the Autumn with plants that may be better suited to the challenges of the location, such as pohutukawa and kowhai.

She says Nelmac regularly maintains the planters and will be removing the white weed matting which has been exposed since the storm last year and broken down as a result.


  1. It isn’t that difficult to fix. Organic matter to improve the soil structure and water retention. Choice of plants is also simple, coastal plants that are ok with some salt. Dune species are an example (also easy care). I don’t think kowhai is a suitable choice with the salt and wind.