You can read about the Ragged School that inspired the original garden in Photostory 8.
The native garden that now adjoins it was planted to acknowledge the muwinina people, who lived in nipaluna/Hobart for thousands of years before colonisation. On the landscape they knew there were towering eucalypt trees, which were felled by the British to build Hobart Town. Huge flocks of parrots were displaced when their nesting places were disturbed. Feathers from the many black swans on the river were used to stuff pillows. Whales who calved in the river were killed to provide oil to light the town, and the free-running rivulet that ran through Wapping was soon polluted with waste from small industries.
Now only a few swans are seen on the upper reaches of the Derwent and an occasional whale is sighted in the harbour. Insects that once thrived here are sprayed with ‘pesticides’ and remain in small numbers for blackbirds to eat. However, I discovered that the manna gums on the Domain – a short distance from the garden – were here before the British came. The muwinina people wove baskets from the tree’s shoots and feasted on the gum they produced after injuries by insects. The manna or gum was reported to taste like the sweetest sugar and have the consistency of ice cream.
The small garden I’ve planted includes a Tasmanian correa, Mountain raspwort, Mother shield fern, Round-leaf mint bush, Fringe myrtle, Running postman, Alpine tussock grass, Indigofera Australis and two Cushion plants. In the centre is the big planter with a Tasmanian Pepperberry, surrounded by Warrigal greens and Tasmanian violets.
I can’t wait to see this garden grow . . . .