While unveiling the makeover on 11 February, Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle, said the stormwater harvesting and re-use system would preserve heritage sites while future-proofing the gardens from the effects of climate change.
“Visitors will notice new lawns and better views of Captain Cooks’ Cottage, but what they won’t see is a sophisticated underground stormwater tank that is securing the water supply for these 167-year-old gardens,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The stormwater tank is twice the size of an Olympic swimming pool and provides half the annual watering needs of the gardens.
“It will save 59 million litres of potable water each year to keep the gardens lush and green.”
The Fitzroy Gardens is home to some of Melbourne’s oldest and most magnificent trees, the Scarred Tree, the Fairies’ Tree, the River God fountain, the Tudor Village and the impressive floral displays at the Conservatory.
The four-year, $13.9 million redevelopment includes:
• Installation of a five million-litre underground stormwater tank;
• A new visitor centre and 80 seat café;
• Reconstruction of an original creek line at the southern end of the Gardens;
• Planting of more than 150 new shrubs and ferns, 45 new trees, and 500 new ground covers; and
• A new works depot for Fitzroy, Treasury and other city gardens.