Last Friday I was waiting for a lift on Albany Street Dunedin and found I was outside the community garden– built 2017. This was a waste-land lot for many years and yet right opposite University of Otago Library. It seems to be mainly recycled and upcycled things timber and concrete, there is a basic gravel turf surface (mainly in clover) which would reduce stormwater runoff almost to nothing, as well as reduce the heat-island effect in summer.
The space is in the shade of a high brick wall behind which is the Aotea Peace Embassy run by one of the garden’s founding members.
It is completely amazing to be buzzing along a busy street and then be aware of a gap with life in it. I waited there ten minutes and the next day gave a friend a lift from the same spot and people were coming and going through the garden the entire time.
Plants are a mix of NZ natives and endemics and herbs, fruits and vegetables – one planter being chock full of strawberry plants. This is a soft, gentle and refreshing space – our cities need more of this.