Media type
Moving image
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Media type
Moving image
Place of production
New Zealand/Aotearoa
Production: James Tannock

Originally captured on black and white 8mm film, this silent amateur professional film with intertitles shows the work of the horticulture team at the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Estimated to have been made in the mid 1940s.

INTERTITLE: “This film belongs to E. J. Stent, 371 Macandrew Road, Dunedin, N.Z”.
INTERTITLE: “HAPPY HORTICULTUREISTS * Production by James Tannock ***”.

Tui hopping through branches of tree.

INTERTITLE: “The Botanic Gardens overlooking the fair city of Dunedin...”
Overlooking hillside houses in Dunedin. Housing in Dunedin framed by trees. Tall cabbage trees (ti kōuka, tī whanakae, cordyline banksii) with leaves blowing in wind. Trees in Dunedin Botanic Garden and surrounding hillsides. Buildings of Knox College. People walking through gate in tall hedge. People walking towards camera past planting rows and tall boundary hedge

INTERTITLE: “The nursery staff are in charge of all parts of the upper gardens. As well as this they raise plats for Dunedin public parks.” Woman spraying water from hose onto plants inside greenhouse - hangs up hose and turns off tap. Men tilling soil with spades. Dunedin Botanic Gardens staff walking near nursery buildings and greenhouses. Man bundling cuttings together near garden plot. Man descending ladder with watering can. Man pushing wheelbarrow past greenhouses. Women sprinkling water from watering cans over seed beds. Man hammering stake into ground near brushwood fence.

INTERTITLE: “Joan Tasman Smith picks flowers to decorate the offices in the Town Hall.” Joan Tasman Smith selecting and cutting flowers from amongst gardens.

INTERTITLE: “Mary Lysaght has brought label writing down to a fine art.” Mary Lysaght seated at desk. Mary Lysaght writing labels with fountain pen. Label on stake being planted in garden. Man in apron digging hole near brushwood fence. Men checking if posts are level. People standing talking near garden plots.

INTERTITLE: “From the hillside we catch a glimpse of the Wintergarden down below...” Wintergarden buildings - conservatory and glasshouses.

INTERTITLE: “Within, members of the staff are busy. Here are Bert Crust, Ian and Charlie all hard at it with can, hose and brush...” Men spraying water from hose onto plants inside greenhouse. Man spraying liquid between leaves of small flowering plants.

INTERTITLE: “Outside we discover the older hands in characteristic poses. Jimmie and Norman training the rambler roses...” Men attaching runners and vines to trellis structure.

INTERTITLE: “Modern transport. Two man power!” Two Men pulling cart full of leaf litter and vegetation

INTERTITLE: “Andy and Les West picking the winner...” Men standing looking at piece of paper. Park lands and trees. Large crane moving slowly through park. Man standing on dirt track digging hole with shovel.

INTERTITLE: “Lunch Time...” Dunedin Botanic Garden staff walking near glasshouses and buildings. Two Women standing near bicycle on garden path. Woman cycling towards building. Men standing in garden smiling and talking. Woman playing fetch with scottish terrier in garden. Man riding bicycle along garden path and near buildings.
INTERTITLE: “After lunch there is a pruning class.” Men and women pruning trees and bushes with secateurs- pruning shears.

INTERTITLE: “Eradicating vermin.” Man inside greenhouse spraying insecticide from tank carried on back. Women seated at bench handling mouse traps. Woman setting mouse traps - cheese on trap. Man walking near greenhouse carrying rifle - brings rifle to shoulder and shoots. Man lifting dead rabbit and carrying it away from plant pots.

INTERTITLE: “Modern machinery aids grass mowing and soil cultivation.” Man driving Dennis ride on lawn mower past garden plots and flower beds. Man pushing rotary hoe upon bare earth and tilling soil near garden rows. Men pruning seedlings and plants in garden plots.

INTERTITLE: “And as the wind rises we leave the gardens and its staff of happy horticulturists.” Branches and boughs of tree bending and shaking in strong wind. Tall cabbage trees (ti kōuka, tī whanakae, cordyline banksii) leaning over and with leaves blowing in strong wind. Car driving on dirt road near box hedges. Branches and trees moving in strong wind as banks of cloud approach.