Consulting Landscape Architect Mick Field, and the Director of the Dunedin Botanic Garden Alan Matchet offered the CLC a site next to the newly built Mediterranean Garden for the placement of a memorial seat and the planting of ceremonial tree for their coming event ‘The Gathering’ in October 2011, when the diaspora of Dunedin’s Lebanese Community were to gather for a special celebratory occasion
Stuart Griffiths was invited by ‘The gatherings’ event manager Kerry Buchan to meet members of CLC to discuss the production of some further ideas for the Dunedin Botanic Garden’s site, on the basis that it could be more than a seat and a tree and become more of place as was then being proposed.
Some concepts were later discussed with the members of the CLC and were presented to Alan and Mick to consider. A meeting was held at the DBG and it was realised that the site that was offered was not appropriate for the more substantial concept being discussed, and that the present site may be a better option. This new site was agreed as being appropriate and was to be developed further as a concept by Stuart Griffiths.
Stuart Griffiths produced a concept that the CLC was interested in pursuing further, where the seat, tree and a Sculpture of a Lebanese Cypress Cone would be placed on a terrace to be constructed on the site offered. The tree was already in situ as was another Cypress not to far away.
At the subsequent meeting with Alan and Mick it was agreed that the concept was acceptable to them and their plans for the surrounding areas future development. It was also concluded that the concept could be expanded from the quite ‘incidental’ concept in the arboretum, to being a concept Garden in its own right. Mick Field designed a garden planting and redeveloped the pathway systems to accommodate the placement of this new Cedars of Lebanon Grove Garden.
Mick’s expanded concept was agreed to be pursued as the gift that the CLC would donate to the City. Mick and Stuart developed the project management plan to build the Garden, in which time – Delta was approached to construct the landscape elements and Stuart Griffiths and Graham Burgess and Alan Stocker of Abrasive Concepts and Monumental were to produce the Sculpture, its plinth, and its base along with the base for the seat. The CLC commissioned the construction of the seat from Cedar of Lebanon timber. The stone tiling also had a map of Lebanon cut into it under the seat.
Bryn Jones was the sculptor who carved the Cone and Alan Stocker did the pattern making. Alan supervised the sand casting of the cones sections at Giltech Dunedin and the welding together of the sections at Alans Sheet Metal.
Throughout the project the CLC had delegated the responsibility of managing the project for them to Richard Joseph and Martin George.
It needs to be ‘Noted’ that Bryn had decided to be inspired by the Cedar of Lebanese Cone in the carving of this idealised Cone and not to pursue an exact copy with all its crinkles and pores.
Discussion is underway to locate an appropriate plaque nearby the sculpture.