Preliminary work started yesterday on a $6 million redevelopment of the upper garden area.
''Replacement of the existing plant nursery facilities has been overdue for many years and it is great to have the project finally under way,'' Dunedin City Council parks and recreation services project manager Hamish Black said yesterday.
The redevelopment would replace the ''ageing propagation facilities and plant nursery'' near the aviary with new facilities where the Botanic Garden centre is sited, in Lovelock Ave.
''The centre will be demolished to make way for the new glasshouses, propagation building and boiler house, but some of the materials will be salvaged and used in other garden projects,'' Mr Black said.
The new plant nursery facilities would be used for school educational activities, public workshops and demonstrations.
The buildings would be screened from Lovelock Ave by landscaping and planting, while work had already started on construction of a new boundary with the neighbouring Opoho Bowling Club.
Moving the nursery and glasshouses from the existing ''prime site'' meant the area could be redeveloped as a landscape feature, Mr Black said.
''This site has a lot of visitor attraction potential, which we would like to develop in the future.''
Contractors started work on the site yesterday and replacement of the old glasshouses would start next week.
The upper garden car park will be used as a construction base, limiting parking until the work is completed next September.