We stumbled across this small garden by accident while visiting Port Chalmers, near Dunedin. Heading up the hill to see the Robert Scott Memorial (unveiled May 30, 1914), I spotted a sign for ‘Hotere Garden’ and requested a detour.
The garden opened in 2005 ‘fulfilling the wishes of Ralph Hotere‘ (1931-2013) to return four sculptures to Observation Point. They had previously been displayed in Mr Hotere’s nearby studio, but in 1993 it was demolished, along with some of the bluff on which it stood, despite local protests, to make way for port development. Apparently the garden was part of the settlement between the two parties.
In 2008 the garden by Design and Garden Landscapes Ltd won the Landscape Industries Association of NZ premier award for the best use of native plants, a gold award for landscape horticulture and a silver award for landscape design.
Company owner Wayne Butson said the planting had been deliberately kept simple to enhance the sculptures and the views.
Another part of the boat’s timber was used in Black Phoenix held at Te Papa, the Museum of New Zealand. Renowned actor Sam Neill helped prepare some of the wood for Black Phoenix: Not long after beginning, Ralph said he had to slip away. Something pressing. Three or four hours later, he returned; casually mentioned he was sorry, he’d got caught up in the pub. Read more from Remembering Ralph Hotere.