Spruce up of region’s botanic gardens set to commence 

TM Botanic Gardens Lake
TM Botanic Gardens Lake

Council is set to begin the mammoth task of removing some 3,000 cubic metres of silt to rejuvenate the ponds within the Tamborine Mountain Regional Botanic Gardens in the Scenic Rim. 

Commencing in April and expected to take three months to complete, weather and construction conditions permitting, the works have been funded jointly by the Australian and Queensland governments under the Community and Recreational Asset Recovery and Resilience Program. 

Scenic Rim Division 1 Councillor Amanda Hay said she visited the gardens the day after the Christmas Night storm and saw first-hand the devastation across the site. 

“Tamborine Mountain’s botanic gardens are a premium attraction for the entire region and Council is grateful for the funding for the de-silting of the ponds which are a major drawcard and the backdrop for many wedding photos,” she said.  

“I am pleased that the timing of the works has taken environmental considerations, such as plants and aquatic animals, into account.” 

The works to rejuvenate the ponds have been welcomed by the volunteers from Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens Inc who manage the gardens under an agreement with Scenic Rim Regional Council. 

“As volunteers we are looking forward to the desilting of the lake which is a centrepiece of the gardens,” Tamborine Mountain Botanic Gardens Inc President Greg Ingold said. 

“The volunteers have been working hard to restore the gardens which have been closed to the public since the devastating Christmas Night storm. 

“It’s disappointing that the gardens have already been closed for an extended period but the desilting will certainly enhance their beauty and so the wait will be well worthwhile.” 

The construction of a stone bridge over Tamborine Creek following the 1974 floods laid the foundations for what would become the botanic gardens, which opened on 31 December 1988, and are now regarded as a jewel in the crown of the Scenic Rim. 

Council assigned 27 acres (10.9 hectares) of rainforest and scrubland off Forsythia Drive at Eagle Heights with the aim of working with members of the Tamborine Mountain Garden Club to develop the site and volunteers cleared weeds and lantana, dug garden beds and planted a large number of azaleas, hibiscus, camellias, and ornamental, deciduous and native trees as well as bulbs and ground cover. 

A dam wall was built below the bridge to form the ornamental ponds which now provide the centrepiece for a tranquil Japanese garden, tropical rainforest walk and other gems that promote the values and enjoyment of gardening in South-East Queensland. 

The gardens will remain closed to the public for safety as the lake is drained, silt and sediment are removed and disposed of off-site and the ponds are refilled. 

A management plan has been developed to relocate as many plants and animals as possible during the works. 

“The volunteers are pleased that Scenic Rim Regional Council was able to obtain a grant for this project as our committee has been working with Council to find a solution to the silt build-up in the lake,” Mr Ingold said. 

“The desilting will take some time but we are looking forward to welcoming back residents and visitors when the works are completed.”  

Assistance for this project is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.