MPA Garden

Marsden Garden of Learning and Wellbeing

Transforming the area outside the Karori Science Labs into a garden of learning and wellbeing is an ongoing project for the Marsden Parents Association. 
What was once the toilet block for the old main block and a driveway will now become a multipurpose area for learning.  The photo left shows what it used to be like. 

The area has been divided into four different spaces, each with interesting features.  

The Four Spaces

A large literary terrace has been created and is situated right outside the southern learning studio. This is surrounded by glass – and is where the girls can meet to discuss, write and relax. At the far end you can just see the Marsden Family Wall, a legacy wall etched with student names which was unveiled in 2017.
The next stage is a labyrinth which will be built the next level down. 

This medieval meditation path will be made out of the bricks from the old main block and will be bordered by New Zealand cranberry.
The science gardens are being revived in three different areas which are:
  • A Hebe Garden
  • A potager garden  
  • An alpine rock garden.  
Features in these areas include a compost area, a worm farm, a greenhouse, a water tank and student powered irrigation system, a weather station and a periodic table.

The Science Gardens – integral to learning

The gardens were first developed by Head of Science, Gabrielle Gunn, together with her science teachers. They provide authentic learning experiences for many aspects of the school’s science programme.  All year group levels from Year 7 up learn from the garden.  From environment sustainability in Year 7 where they recycle food and use the worm farm to turn it into fertiliser for the garden, to growing vegetables and herbs, to studying photosynthesis using the geraniums in Year 10 through to the Year 12 and 13s who study the carbon and nitrogen cycles, among many other things. 

The garden also has a native plant area and this includes rare plants and those with a range of interesting adaptations for students to study e.g. divaricating shrubs, New Zealand holly and the Marlborough rock daisy.  Some Year 10 students use the garden for their science/art unit (studying and sketching the plants). These plants are also used for studying adaptations of plants to a range of environments e.g. avoiding dessication and adaptations to avoid moa browsing 

The Marsden Family Wall

The Marsden Family Wall was officially opened on Sunday 9 April 2017.The Marsden Family Wall is a legacy wall – etched with Marsden student's names and dates they were at Marsden. It is sited outside the South Studio corridor beside the new Marsden garden that is being developed.   

Who is Involved

The garden has been designed by Marsden parent and landscape designer, Sarah Norling, in consultation with the school, the MPA, and the science teachers.  A garden committee has been formed and they will be involved in the planting and landscaping once the main groundwork and paving has been completed.  A small project group consisting of Sarah Norling, Nicola McFaull, Nick Middelkoop and Megan Lloyd-Evans is bringing it all together and the first stage was completed for the start of 2017. 

How You Can Help

If you would like to join the Committee – let us know. We are also looking for donations for some of the features of the garden like the glass house, sculptures, artworks, a weather station, the glass fence and so on. We will keep you posted.

If you would like to help contact us at or call Megan Lloyd-Evans on 021 938 688.