A comparatively young garden, Auckland Botanic Garden consist of unique designs while giving it a distinct identity. Over 10,000 plants are present, from all over the world, and was founded in 1982.
Chock-full of more than 10,000 beautiful and attractive plants, Auckland Botanic Garden is known as the gardener’s nirvana. One can always plan out an extended tour, while appreciating the varied species of plants, over a cup of coffee! To start with, edible plants come to the list first, where varied sorts of vegetables, edible flowers, and nuts, encourages the ‘healthy’ factor amongst the visitors. They turn out to be the real motivating factor amongst them.
New Zealand’s natural vegetation comprises of these unique features of natural vegetation. But the special feature of this garden is an assortment of endangered natural species. Things turn out to be more exotic, past the lower lake. Exotic varieties of palms, from around the world, grow alongside many natural and matured trees. Hue and color are the key factors all through the year. With a huge variety of exotic roses, camellia and magnolia gardens, a collection of plants from the southern part of Africa is also present. That particular area of the garden is known as the world’s costliest floral kingdom.
Once the upper lake along with the intriguing rock garden is crossed, the edible theme can be found in the informative and aromatic herb garden. These all herbs are hence utilized generously for making all sorts of medicine, dyes, insect repellents, cosmetics, and perfumes. Adjacent to this place is the library, with a huge collection of many books, which aids in giving answers to any challenging question. Auckland Botanic Garden is located very close to the southern highway, around 30 minutes’ drive from the main city.
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The initial concept for the botanical garden, situated in Auckland region came into light in 1926. The residents voted for the same and after a few years of decision making, the garden was made. This garden covered a land mass of 80 acres, which was very difficult to acquire, initially. An ad hoc committee was formed in order to find a suitable place, and hence develop it into a botanical garden. After a long search, an area in the suburbs of Manurewa was inspected thoroughly, and hence got transformed into the said garden.
The whole land was given on lease for grazing till 1970. Various types of soil tests were carried on, and thus proved that the area was suitable for the further development of the botanic garden. The master plan was passed by a scientific advisory board. After a lot of experiments under strict vigil, the garden was opened by a person named David Bellamy. Most of the basic facilities like, car parking, toilets, courtyards and visitor’s anteroom, all were present at the southern tip of the gardens. In the following years, various home gardens were opened, under the supervision of Unitec Horticultural Classrooms, annually the garden started being reviewed.
On or after 2010, a chain of low-profile water management or stormwater designed creativities were added around the garden, like the roof edifices with 2-3 roofs, stagnated swales, rain parks and the riparian cultivated area around the lakes. This particular location got transformed into a large Dinosaur Zoo in 2016 and remains heavily populated throughout the year.
In recent times, the annual visitation to the garden reaches to approx. One million people.
The responsibility of Auckland Botanic Garden is threefold.
- The garden contributes to society’s well-being and appreciation of plants.
- To replicate the variety of those plants are displayed in the region’s benign climate, along with its sundry backdrop and folkloric blend.
- To meet the requirements and interests of the civic and be informative to the populace around.
The exploration of the botanical garden in chiefly directed at the identification of plants and their suitable growing local conditions. Various panels are active, based on the exploration of native plants, perennial ones, as well as bulbs and shrubs. Many trials get conducted each year, to enhance the growth of the plants. An advisory leaflet is followed, which gets restructured yearly.
Upkeep of plants
Auckland Botanic Garden is a powerhouse of plants, both from New Zealand and all over the world. Some of them are threatened with extinction. Collections of plant cultivars, those are uncommon in cultivation, recently, are also present. When the plants grow, they are provided with plant material from the Gardens itself, which hence assist in research work. Education, cultivation and reintroducing them back to into the wilds or horticultures (commercial).
Auckland Botanic Gardens include certain important assemblages:
– A short-walk which highpoints the characteristic features of the selection of natural plants. It is also known as New Zealand Native Identification Trail.
– A pathway is marked leading to a Native Forest Trail, covering 30 hectares of land mass.
– Ornamental natural plants combined with creatively designed gardens generate natural plant ideas.
– A special Rose Garden is made at the corner of the Gardens, having various species of Roses.
– An assemblage of florae are carefully chosen for assessment and study.
– Apart from Rose Garden, an edible and Herb garden is also constructed, thus attracting people from around the world.
The anteroom named Huakaiwaka, is a building with contemporary styling, which was opened in 2005, having in it an information counter, display boards, a café and several workplaces.
The reading room of the garden is housed in a separate building, which was opened in 1992, and was financed by a famous social organisation of New Zealand. The reading room consists of 2,500 books (approx.) and a number of horticultural journals and magazines. Around 10,000 plus items is present in the catalogue. The reading room can be accessed by the general public, any time of the year.
Ellerslie Flower Show
A very well-known ‘Ellerslie Flower Show’ is organised every year, and is quite a successful event. For many years, consecutively, the Auckland Botanic Gardens were utilised for this very show, but in 2008 it got relocated to Christchurch’s Hagley Park.