Kiwi classic “Ponga” forms living wall

One innovative Hamilton restaurant has brought a living native forest right into their restaurant.

The Foundation Bar and Kitchen has planted a stunning 15 metre-long wall of living pongas in the restaurant. The “living wall” is something special, and quite possibly a first for any restaurant. Following nature’s lead, the ponga fronds have created a stunning canopy of green along the top of the wall, and the trunks of the pongas have sprouted creepers and small plants.

Although in an outdoor area of the restaurant, the wall is under cover and is not open to the elements, and the project designers are delighted to see that the ponga wall is thriving through a combination of good care and an excellent irrigation regime.

The pongas were sourced through Pongas Direct, who are licenced to harvest ponga logs from within the pine plantation forests of the central North Island. When Foundation Bar and Kitchen approached Pongas Direct general manager, Mark Davis, with the idea of a living wall, Mark leapt at the challenge. At 3 metres high, the pongas are very tall. Mark said, “We custom-select ponga logs as required for our customers’ projects, and this was interesting because they wanted very tall pongas, with a mixture of growing ponga plants and ponga logs. Our harvesting team and equipment can handle the tall pongas, but when you see over 100 of the pongas all ready for delivery, it is quite an awesome sight.”

“We were delighted to be part of this project. The pongas look superb and the vibrant green colour of the fronds is just what you would see within the forest environment, said Mark.



While many restaurants have pot plants or small gardens, Foundation Bar and Kitchen took the next step and re-created a living forest effect. Through good product selection and care, they have found success in growing a mini forest inside their restaurant.

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