The seeds have been sown for a greater variety of rare and exotic plants to grow in the Noosa Botanic Gardens thanks to today’s opening of a $400,000 Shade Garden.
The new garden, funded jointly by Council and Seqwater, replaces the old shade house that had come to the end of its useful life.
Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said the Shade Garden was a three-month construction project, with many more months of careful planning.
“It was a collaborative effort with Council’s infrastructure team leading the design and construction, our Botanic Garden staff looking after landscaping and assistance from many volunteers,” Cr Wellington said.
“These volunteers not only give their time and skills to keep the gardens looking great, but also donate a lot of the rare and unusual plants that we see here today.”
Lois Walters from the Noosa & District Orchid and Foliage Society is one of the members who volunteers her time to work in the shade garden.
“Once a month myself and other volunteers come in here and help with pruning, weeding and general maintenance of the gardens,” Ms Walters said.
“After we have done our work, we get a real sense of satisfaction that we have done something for the community as well as ourselves.
“It’s been lovely to watch the Shade Garden come to life.”
Seqwater CEO Neil Brennan said the funding from Seqwater was part of the bulk water authority’s commitment to working with Noosa Council and the local community.
“This project followed a transfer of land from Seqwater to Council to expand the size of the gardens,” Mr Brennan said.
“Work at the gardens precedes Seqwater’s upgrade at Lake Macdonald, which will ensure the dam’s ongoing safe operation and its role as a critical water supply and recreation area for the community of Noosa.”
“The shade house development will no doubt provide a boost for the gardens, which already draws 70,000 visitors each year.”
Noosa Botanic Gardens Coordinator Jacky Kelk said the new shade garden replaced a 1980s shade house, which closed to the public for safety reasons several years ago.
“While the old shade house was closed to the public, it still provided vital shade for some important plant species.”
“The design of the new Shade Garden, which sees shade sails overlapping at different parts, provides different variations of shade and light.
“This allows a greater variety of plants, including orchids, rainforest and other shade-loving plants, to be cultivated”.
“The Shade Garden is a wonderful addition to the Noosa Botanic Gardens and I encourage the community to come and enjoy this new facility,” Ms Kelk said.
Seqwater and Noosa Council each provided half the costs of the new Shade Garden.