Visit to Ferntree Lodge Gardens, Ferntree Drive, Wakari

Saturday 11th of May 2013, 09:00 AM (7 years ago)

Contact: David Lyttle | djl1yttle@gmail.com | (03) 454 54750

Ferntree Lodge was the home of the Thomson family for 60 years. The house was bought in 1898 by Alexander Thomson (1846–1904) a well known Dunedin soft drink manufacturer, and it was during the Thomson's ownership that many of the existing trees were planted. Over 6,600 square metres of lawns, gardens and trees were planted. Most were natives, particularly North Island varieties rarely seen in the lower South Island. Two of Alexander Thomson's sons, William Alexander (Bill — the eldest) and John Scott (Jack — the fourth) became distinguished amateur botanists. William Thomson lived at Ferntree Lodge until his death in 1950. The Lodge and garden have had a chequered history since then with the property being subdivided and the gardens neglected. The property is now owned by Tim Vanderhaegen and his wife Sofie who wish to restore it. They have issued an invitation to the BSO to view the garden which in its time was one of the more notable gardens in the Dunedin area and still contains many of the trees planted by the Thomsons. Rain date 12th May Sunday. Meet 9:00 a.m. at Botany Department Car Park, 464 Great King Street.