Topic: Te Papa Peninsula Gardens
There have been gardens on the Te Papa peninsula since people first arrived in Tauranga in the 1300s. An information panel on The Strand in Tauranga gives details about early gardening in the area. Photo: Debbie McCauley (8 March 2015).
Looking strange? see and archived version here
Early Maori settlers needed kumara to supplement natural food sources and cleared much of the peninsula to create extensive kumara gardens (maara). When the missionaries settled here in the 1830s, the area around the mission station was not occupied by Maori but there were many in the surrounding district able to supply them with fresh produce until their own gardens were established.
Te Papa Peninsula Gardens information panel with Herries Memorial Arch in the background.
Once the town of Tauranga was established a new era of gardening began - with form and fashion as important as function. In the 1920s the first formal decorative gardens were built using designs that drew heavily on English fashions. But the gardens we see today bear little resemblance to those first plantings. Indeed over the years that there have been public parks along the waterfront the layout and plant choices have gond through numerous transformations, each generation wanting a new, modern look.
Charles Cameron, seen here planting trees at Greerton School, was a well known botanist. Appointed Borough Gardener in 1936, he was responsible for planning and setting out the public gardens in Tauranga including those along the Strand. In 1959 he was awarded the Loder Cup for his lifetime study of New Zealand ferns.
The 'hardy palms' (Trachycarpus), planted in 1907, weren't hardy enough - they had to be caged to protect them from cows which wandered freely through the town until 1932. The butia palms seen today were planted in the early 1950s.
The current gardens were laid out in 2003. The design is based around themes of voyages, arrivals, anchorage and settlement.
The Strand in colour, 1950s or 1960s.
This page was archvied at Perma cc March 2017 https://perma.cc/3kcq-cu2t