Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush with author Bee Dawson

We sat down with local author Bee Dawson to discuss the newly released book Ōtari: Two hundred years of Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush. Dawson tells us the story behind writing the book, and explains why Ōtari–Wilton’s Bush is a unique Wellingtonian treasure. We discuss local history, native plant conservation, collaborative research, and the special people who have helped create and celebrate Aotearoa New Zealand’s only native bush reserve.

The book features an array of botanical drawings and historic photographs, charting Ōtari’s significance to the local community over its history, from the 1820’s to the present day. The contemporary photographs by Chris Coad are particularly striking and beautifully illustrate why Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush is ranked as a six-star garden of significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.

On Wellington City Recollect our Rare Books collection contains a digitsed copy of the 1932 document ‘A Scheme for the Development and Arrangement of the Otari Open-Air Native Plant Museum‘, written by the beloved Dr Leonard Cockayne, Wellington’s ‘honorary botanist’ and champion of Ōtari.

Otari : Two hundred years of Otari-Wilton’s Bush / Dawson, Bee

“The story of Ōtari–Wilton’s Bush, the only botanic garden dedicated solely to the collection and conservation of the plants unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and a native bush reserve with over a hundred hectares of regenerating forest, including some of Wellington’s oldest trees.” (Publisher’s Description)
For more information on the book visit The Cuba Press.

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