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Hot Spot Requires Care

This article was first published on 07 Jul 2017.

Terrace seats

Terrace seats

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

A prime spot on a sunny afternoon at Dunedin Botanic Garden is the terraces above the rock garden. From the garden’s early days it was found to be a suntrap and vantage point and seats are visible in photographs from the early 1900s. Once the bandstand was built in 1914 it became a popular gathering point to socialise and enjoy the music. In the early 1940s the existing terraces were formed and the present day seats installed.

A few years ago Botanic Garden management recognised that this area was becoming tired. Work began with repairing and painting the seats. Since then work has continued with re-contouring the eroded banks, rock work at the north end to form new beds, and the installation of steps. Over the next year a further three sets of steps will be built to improve access, with more plants added.

The area enjoys the full blast of the afternoon sun and along with the clay based soil it is a difficult and exposed site - plants need to be chosen carefully. So far these plantings have included an informal tangled hedge of Coprosma acerosa ’Red Rocks’, white flowering Cistus salviifolius 'Snow Mound', tough and colourful Australian natives Grevillea lanigera 'Mount Tamboritha' and Grevillea 'Bronze Rambler', Artostaphylos ×media 'Woods Red', the bright green Australian grass Lomandra longifolia 'Little Con', an upright black flax Phormium 'Black Rage', hardy conifers such as Cupressus macrocarpa 'Greenstead Magnificent' and Juniperus ×pfitzeriana 'Gold Coast', and mass plantings of smaller varieties of Agapanthus.

Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Robyn Abernethy