Ready to rock, Sasebo garden design experts at yesterday's rock assembly workshop.
Ready to rock, Sasebo garden design experts at yesterday's rock assembly workshop. The Advocate

Botanic Gardens to get a touch of the east

THEY are the cream of the crop when it comes to designing Japanese gardens.

A delegation of experts from Coffs Harbour's sister city, Sasebo, are here this week to help create the proposed new Japanese garden at the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden.

They're running workshops and site inspections to instruct city council staff and volunteers in the skills and techniques required to build a Japanese garden.

The plan to create a tranquil garden in the classical Japanese style was announced last October.

Depending on funding, the $300,000 project should be completed within three years.

The Friends of the Botanic Garden have pledged $15,000 towards the start of construction, as well as providing labour and planting help. This is in addition to $25,000 from the council for the project.

"The garden, its staff and the keen volunteers who do so much for that facility, will benefit hugely from having direct input on this project from Japanese landscape designers and engineers," Coffs Harbour mayor Cr Keith Rhoades said.

"The Botanic Garden has the reputation of being one of the most significant botanic gardens in regional Australia and the development of a Japanese Garden will further enhance that standing."

"It also has the potential to have a significant impact on the city's international tourism, particularly from Asia. The interest it has generated in Sasebo is a good indicator of its likely appeal."

The Sasebo delegation includes city parks engineer Ichiro Toyozato, city official Mitsuteru Kawaguchi, and garden designers Takehiro Tazo and Toshiyki Iwanaga.

GeoLINK, a local landscape architectural company, has donated its design services to the project and the Australia-Japan Society of Coffs Harbour has provided advice and support.

The masterplan for the Botanic Garden includes an area set aside for a Japanese garden where the popular Japanese Festival of Children's Day is held. A lake and Japanese-style bridge are already in place.


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