Native Display Gardens
In mid-2011, six display gardens were created at Alphington Park. Council's aim was to show how native trees and plants can make a suitable and sustainable addition to home gardens.
The themed native display gardens are situated in the northern section of the park.
Structures associated with the garden themes, such as a set of brightly coloured totem poles and a Hills Hoist clothesline, were also installed as part of the works.
Council received complaints from residents in late 2011, claiming the structures were not in keeping with a natural park environment. While Council consulted local residents on the proposal for the native gardens prior to undertaking the works, details about the structures weren't provided in the consultation materials. Council apologised for this error and agreed to further community discussion about the structures.
In early December 2011, Council organised an on-site meeting with residents to discuss the structures.
Residents in the area provided 38 responses during a consultation held in December.
Twenty one respondents requested that the totem poles be removed while 17 requested that the poles be retained.
The feedback was considered by Langridge Ward Councillors and Council officers in early 2012.
To achieve a compromise that reflected the mixed community feedback, Council decided to remove the poles from their current location and transplant them to a new spot near the park’s playground.
The new location (as indicated below) is further from residences. The totem poles, which feature artwork by students from Alphington Primary School, will complement the play equipment in this area.
The poles are expected to be relocated before the end of April 2012.
The coloured deck in the new garden bed area will be removed, and more trees will be planted.
The remainder of the garden bed area will stay in its current form.
An initiative of Council's Open Space staff, the aim of the native display gardens are to provide park visitors with practical information on how to introduce and care for Australian plant and tree species in their own backyard.
The themes for the gardens are:
- Australian backyard garden
- Aridity (desert) garden
- Cottage garden
- Formal garden
- Contemporary garden
- Bush garden
Council began landscaping works for the gardens in June 2011, with planting beginning in early November.
The following works were carried out:
- Removal of 17 trees and existing planting
- Improvement of soils, mulching
- Installation of paths, garden beds, furniture and structures
- Installation of interpretive signage to explain the principles of the gardens, including a detailed layout of plans and plant lists for each theme
- Use of recycled furniture and materials, including bricks, mulches, local gravel and rocks.
Students from Alphington Primary School have been invited to draw native animals and paint their designs onto 14 totem posts that will be located in the contemporary garden.
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