MUN Botanical Garden - more than just a pretty place

M. Bishop, T. Boland, A.M. Madden, T.G. Walsh, S.N. Goodyear
The MUNBG first opened to public in July 1977. The original purpose was to restore a disturbed area, both the naturally occurring pond and surrounding 45 ha of land. While situated within the city of St. John's, the Garden is home to a wide diversity of plant communities found within the boreal forest biome. A system of trails allows access to these plant habitats. The Garden also houses a wide variety of ornamental plants, displayed in a variety of themed gardens. Foremost among the themed gardens is the Heritage Garden, featuring plants that were important enough and/or had such a strong personal connection such that the early settlers to Newfoundland brought these plants with them from the UK. In recent years with the heightened awareness of food quality and sustainability, the Vegetable Garden has become a highlight for visitors. During the Garden's inception, the horticultural industry in Newfoundland was still developing and it was not known what plants would thrive in our climate. Through the Garden's research, breeding program and plant trials, the Newfoundland landscape industry has expanded significantly in regard to its offerings of hardy ornamental plants. Other significant research projects by the Garden include such topics as nutraceuticals, new organic fertilizers, revegetation projects and native plant conservation. The Garden has always been pesticide free, emphasizing the importance of pollinators long before it became the modern-day norm for botanical gardens. Education is an important component of the Garden and ranges from pre-schoolers, elementary-age students to university and adult-education, on a variety of garden and environmental themes. The Garden demonstrated practices including composting and vegetable gardening utilizing raised beds from which larger public education pieces have evolved. This paper highlights the development of the garden and its importance to the visiting public, as well as the research directions of the Garden.
Bishop, M., Boland, T., Madden, A.M., Walsh, T.G. and Goodyear, S.N. (2019). MUN Botanical Garden - more than just a pretty place. Acta Hortic. 1246, 67-74
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1246.10
botanical garden, Newfoundland, Heritage Garden, boreal forest biome, Memorial University