Green wall adds a natural touch

A vertical garden on part of a historic ship on the side of a busy bridge is the latest addition to a Dunedin space that already boasts concrete sheep.

The space under and beside the Jetty St overbridge in the heart of the warehouse precinct is a  paved and shadowed landscape of concrete, asphalt and steel, but Darren Rice is providing small havens of nature he describes as "a vertical element in a horizontal situation".

The Dunedin City Council is spending about $550,000 on an almost-complete project to transform the area with bluestone paving recycled from old cattle yards and cycle racks under the bridge spelling out "jetty", plus other features.

Workers were busy this week  finishing off the project, and Mr Rice, Oasis Greenery Systems manager, was helping install the green wall-style vertical garden.

The garden is being set up on stern plates from the ship Te Whaka, built in Glasgow 107 years ago and resident at Dunedin wharves for about 30 years.

Oasis Greenery Systems  manager Darren Rice holds a component of a green wall being installed in...
Oasis Greenery Systems manager Darren Rice holds a component of a green wall being installed in Jetty St. Photo: Gregor Richardson
The bow of the ship — which was saved from becoming scrap metal by Zeal Steel’s Lawrie Forbes —  stands at the end of the wall facing Vogel St.

Mr Rice, of  Christchurch, said in areas of intensive urban development, the natural environment was mostly gone.

"What the green wall does is put back what has been taken away.

"There are huge benefits in terms of natural habitat."

He said bees could feed on the plants and pollinate them.

The company had also installed the green wall in the Harvest Court Mall in George St.

Jetty St would have three small green walls, made with planter boxes that sit  at an angle against the wall.

The bow of  Te Whaka hid a control panel that ran an automatic watering system.

Mr Rice said he expected the wall to be finished  this week. Dunedin City Council urban design team leader Crystal Filep said the Jetty St project would be finished in time for the annual Vogel Street Party tomorrow.


$550,000 what an absolute waste of ratepayers money, there's more important things to be done in this city than this stupidity.