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Gardens Open Auckland Regional Council Botanic Gardens

Auckland, New Zealand

The Auckland Regional Botanic Gardens are something of a newcomer in the Botanic gardens scene in New Zealand. Only opened in 1982 with planting beginning in 1974 and, given the growth that can be achieved in the mild Auckland climate, the results are impressive.

There is an impressive range of plants, from diverse climates and conditions. The wide range of soil and climatic conditions in the 64-hectare site enable 10,000 different plants to be grown successfully.

Arid gardens, native bush, camellias, magnolias, perennials and roses can all be found within the extensive site of the Auckland Regional Council Botanic Gardens. Take time to visit for it is very large. Visit in different seasons, if you can, to see the incredible range of plants.

The Gardens are not simply a botanical showcase; regular events, hands-on workshops and seminars, exhibitions and plant sales make the Gardens a centre for horticulturally related activity.

For the gardener wanting to discover new plants, or new ways of using old favourites, the Botanic Gardens is a good starting point. The planting near the visitor centre, the education centre and in smaller areas nearby demonstrates new ways of using plants.

The long pergola near the Visitor centre entrance, for instance, is covered with a number of different climbers that thrive in the Auckland regions. Specimen trees planted near here include not only introduced species but the immensely striking titoki (Alectryon excelsus) and pukas (Mertya sinclairii).

And for something different, explore the display beds of the bright and varied Kangaroo Paws (Anigozanthos). There is also an extensive planting of southern African natives, loads of new and unusual plants that will do well in arid gardens.

And for new ways to handle those favourites start with the standard Flower Carpet roses. Instead of the conventional perennials or bedding annuals, these have been underplanted with the native grass Carex comans, creating a zany but very attractive scheme.

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Perennial Border in  summer
Perennial Border in summer

Unusual plants forms and textures, the Rock Garden
Unusual plants forms and textures, the Rock Garden

Pergola covered with different climbers
Pergola covered with different climbers

Bright and varied Kangaroo Paws, 'Anigozanthos'
Bright and varied Kangaroo Paws, Anigozanthos

Standard Flower Carpet roses are underplanted with 'Carex comans'
Standard Flower Carpet roses are underplanted with Carex comans

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Last revised 22 Mar '02