Pukekura Park Fernery
Pukekura Park's Fernery consists of three glass-topped caverns excavated into a hillside. Being below normal ground level, they create a temperate environment suited to display a wide variety of indoor and outdoor plants from around the world.
The concept of construction a Fernery consisting of three glass-topped caverns excavated into the hillside was first discussed in 1918. Work was not begun until June 1926 after many years of fundraising. Over the following 18 months the hillside was manually dug out and its spoil was used to form the lawn area directly adjacent to the Fernery. The planting of some 2340 ferns (145 specimens) began in July 1927; the Fernery was officially opened on 28 January 1928. The whole cost of the project had been met by public subscription and fundraising.
Initially, with the exception of a limited number of New Zealand native plants, the Fernery housed mainly NZ ferns. However with the bequest of Brooklands in 1934, some of the plants from Brooklands estate glass houses were added to the collection. Over the years the houses themselves and the vast array of plants on display have been able to be improved due to the generous bequests and donations. The last major bequest in 1969 enabled the rebuilding of the fourth glass house which is primarily used for displaying exotics such as begonias and orchids.
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1. Photo of George Seed's name carved into bench post - top propagating house, 8 August 1907.
2. Thomas Horton’s Fernery Takings Notebook, 1933-1935. Also includes notes on sale of grapes at Brooklands.
3. Souvenir Programme - Official Opening of Brooklands Recreation Reserve, 10 March 1934.
4. Two Laurence E. Smith Fuchsia Specialist catalogues, 1959 and 1960.
5. Two Begonia House Morrinsville catalogues, 1967 and undated.
6. Newspaper clipping, Begonia House Opened, 28 January 1970.
7. McKenchnie Brothers Metal Report, February 1972. Cover photograph of George and Mabel Kibby Begonia House in Pukekura Park.
8. History of the Pukekua Park Fernery by A. McCrone and I. Small, 1976. Six typed pages.
9. Five annotated photos and a newspaper cut-out relating to the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Fernery, 28 January 1978.
10. Three postcards of Begonia House, dated prior to 1998.
11. Three Fernery and Display Houses Pukekura Park pamphlets, undated.
12. Pukekura Park and Brooklands pamphlet, undated.
13. 16 annotated photos relating to the early years of the Fernery and one photocopy of five pictures of the idea which inspired the creation of the Fernery.
14. Eight annotated photos and two newspaper clippings relating to the major redevelopment of the Pukekura Park Fernery Complex, 2000.