Do you have a love for nature? How about architecture? Do those things pair well together, or does it sound a little bit odd to you?
Well, it certainly seemed like a good idea to one person. Barry Cox had a passion for church architecture, but he also loved trees and nature.
Then one day, the idea struck him to combine the two.
He had always been appreciative of quiet time and being alone in nature and had plenty of property to work with.
In 2007, he started working on his general garden, and then in 2011 he started planting what came to be known as the “Tree Church.”
According to the website for it, the church is a “living, breathing structure” set in three acres of beautiful gardens.
It was designed “to be a place of interest and contemplation,” and wasn’t open to the public initially.
It was meant to be a private respite from the “hustle and bustle of everyday life” and “designed as a calm environment.”
In 2015, some beautiful soul — whom we should all be grateful for — convinced Cox to open the garden and church to public visits. It’s even available for private events, including weddings.
That seems to be the most popular thing for it, too. Social media is loaded with photos of couples tying the knot in front of a maximum of 100 people, since that’s the amount the pews inside seat.
Bad news, though. If you were hoping to get married here now that you’ve heard of it, unless you’re fortunate enough to live in New Zealand, you’re going to have quite the destination wedding.
If you’re wondering what exactly the kinds of trees the “building” is made of, here’s a nice little list for you: “Alnus Imperialis – Cut Leaf Alder (Roof Canopy), Leptospernum — Copper Sheen (Walls), Camelia Black Tie, Acer Globosum, Thuja Pyramidalis.”
There is an iron frame to support the trees, since they aren’t quite old enough and strong enough yet to support themselves, but from any distance, it’s difficult to see.
It’s so leafy and beautiful that even if you could see the frame, I don’t think it would matter. Besides, that’s what makes the marriage of biological and architectural.
Admission is $15 — we’re assuming that’s in New Zealand dollars, though — and there’s no adult or child rate because children under 12 are not permitted unless it’s been prearranged with management.
Also, don’t even think about bringing your dog, because they aren’t allowed either. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the sheer beauty of this place by yourself: picnics are encouraged and there’s no appointment necessary on Sundays and Tuesdays.
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