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Dunedin Botanic GardenBOOK REVIEWS

The Story of the
Dunedin Botanic Garden
New Zealand's First

Eric Dunlop
Published by the Friends of the Dunedin Botanic Garden Inc

THIS very substantial, extensively illustrated hardback has been published for the 140th anniversary of the Dunedin Botanic Garden, the first to be established in New Zealand.

The Story of the Dunedin Botanic Garden explores the turbulent early years of establishment, the vagaries of its administration and the contribution of its gardeners and curators over those 140 years.

The removal of the garden to its present location in 1869 opened the way for the development of a series of quality plant collections in an environment of great beauty.

Public interest in and support for the garden has always been strong, and this has sometimes led to criticism and controversy. Here the author examines the issues and personalities involved.

In his foreword, the late J.L.McC. Tannock says the book is meticulously researched by an author who locates the genesis of the Botanic Garden in the inspired planning for the "Edinburgh of the South."

With great foresight generous spaces were set aside for reserves and particularly for the encircling green girdle, the town belt, which surrounds the area which became the final site for the Botanic Garden.

The Dunedin Botanic Garden is a place of beauty and interest.

In the temperate climate many classes of plants may be grown to perfection. There are groupings of plants from a variety of geographic regions.

The collection of New Zealand natives, especially the unique alpines, is unrivalled. The rock garden is without peer in this country.

Roses and all manner of ornamentals do well and the rhododendrons and azaleas are superb. These and many more delights await the visitor who will hopefully explore the entire garden from the main entrance to the Opoho gate.

This book will help other New Zealand gardeners to understand how all these thing came about.

It represents a monumental amount of work by Eric Dunlop, who has been closely involved with the gardens for 15 years, and is a credit to the keen gardeners who help to raise funds to keep the gardens in operation.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 114, January 16-29, 2003, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

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