This Sunday, 29 May, sees a world-first across Australiasia, as Auckland Council’s Botanic Gardens joins 72 other botanic gardens, arboreta and public gardens in a mass open day. If you are planning a garden, knowing what grows well locally is a good first step, so Aucklanders are encouraged to inspect their public gardens.
Jack Hobbs, event ambassador and manager of Auckland Botanic Gardens, says the open day, designed to celebrate botanic gardens, gives all Australians and New Zealanders a chance to see how these important public gardens conserve plants.
“We depend on plants to enhance our environment and our lives,” he says. “At Auckland Botanic Gardens we hold a huge collection of more than 10,000 plants that thrive in our local conditions. These are the best kinds of plants for Aucklanders to come and see before choosing plants for their own gardens.”
Special events are planned for the open day in Manurewa, including guided walks with tree expert Mike Wilcox, and workshops on choosing trees, hosted by Jack.
“Every tree has its own story, from the hardy liquid amber that displays brilliant red, orange and purple leaves in the autumn, to the aromatic lemon myrtle – a gift from our friends across the Tasman,” says Jack.
Curator Bec Stanley will lead a walk at 1.30pm, sharing fascinating insights into the world of epiphytes – plants that grow up trees. Auckland Council’s Biodiversity team will also be on hand to give free, expert advice on how to build biodiversity in home gardens.
“Children particularly enjoy a day out in the gardens, so we’ll have fun tree-trail scavenger hunts and tree-themed art activities throughout the day, just for them,” says Jack.
Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Open Day, Sunday 29 May 2016 in 73 locations, 10am – 3pm. Free.