The Valley Walk is intended to represent the 'Naturalistic / Aesthetic Style'. This style is characterised by the use of plant material that is indigenous to the region although not necessarily sourced from local seed.
Planting is supposed to be appropriate to the habitat so where possible it functions according to the principles of the natural ecosystem. In theory this should mean less weeding, less use of chemicals, more layer of plant growth and more plant diversity. So while the planting is artificial it should appear reasonably natural.
The main feature of the 'Naturalistic / Aesthetic Style' is that it is usually planted over a man-made landscape. It is usually created to integrate both resource protection and natural processes with the practical and aesthetic requirements of the site.
In New Zealand, the recent trend towards using natives can be traced back to the Naturalistic Style.
The Naturalistic Style is usually understood to have originated in the early part of the 20th Century with Jens Jensen and other American landscapers. There were two main parts to the style: firstly, the rediscovery of native plant material and its potential for garden design, and secondly, the careful observation and dedicated recreation of the patterns found in nature.