Pukekura Park - its ecology and history - Friends of Pukekura Park New Plymouth Inc.

Archive Receives a Unique Contribution From the McDowell Family

Karl Rossiter

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A unique contribution has been received by the Friends as it commences the $200,000 digital archiving project to preserve the history of Pukekura Park and Brooklands. On Christmas Eve, George Fuller knocked on my door grinning like the proverbial Cheshire cat. He was carrying a box of botanical drawings. It transpired that George was acting as courier for the McDowell family who had found the presumed lost botanical artwork of the late Ian McDowell.

Ian McDowell (1937-2000) in the course of his employment with the Parks and Reserves Department of the New Plymouth City (later District) Council, was closely involved with Pukekura Park and Brooklands in various capacities from 1963 until his retirement in 1999. He was also a very competent artist. His talents included botanical drawings. It is his original botanical drawings of plants that are, or have been, in Pukekura Park and Brooklands that are now entrusted to the Friends for inclusion in the collaborative Friends/Puke Ariki digital archiving project. David Medway has found that these Ian McDowell botanical drawings were published in the gardening column of the Taranaki Herald between 1977 and 1980. Friends volunteers will scan, digitise and catalogue the original drawings. The Friends extends a sincere thank you to Mrs Ann McDowell and her family for entrusting these drawings into our care. A sample of the exquisite botanical detail embodied in them accompanies this acknowledgement.

Please contact the Friends if you would like to assist in the processing and scanning of the drawings. We now have the necessary equipment and other resources, and will provide training and guidance to volunteers. Your reward will be the satisfaction of helping to create a valuable Pukekura Park and Brooklands archive for use by future generations. We invite your interest and your participation.

Reproduced from The Newsletter of the Friends of Pukekura Park 3(1) (February 2008)


The family of the late Ian McDowell have kindly donated a collection of his botanical drawings to the Friends of Pukekura Park. Ian sketched many plants of Brooklands and Pukekura Park. The previously presumed lost collection is to be digitised as part of the Friends of Pukekura Park and Puke Ariki Digital Archiving Project. These botanical drawings were originally published in the Taranaki Herald between 1977 and 1980. Ian McDowell (1937-2000) was employed in various capacities with the Parks and Reserves Department of the New Plymouth City Council (later District Council, i.e. NPDC) from 1963 until he retired in 1999.

Ian McDowell, botanical drawings, gardening column, Taranaki Herald, plants of Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, Brooklands Park, New Plymouth District Council Parks and Reserves Department, digital archiving project, Friends of Pukekura Park, Himalayan Strawberry Tree, Cornus capitata, Flannel flower, Phylica pubescens, Fuchsia, Podalyria calyptrata, Spiraea cantoniensis, Stachyurus praecox, Stewartia pseudo-camellia, slugs, snails, Cydonia, Japonica, flowering quince, Chaenomeles japonica, Rosemary.

McDowell Collection

Images Copyright - Courtesy of McDowell Family. All rights reserved.

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image. Click on the close button to close it.

  • McDowell Collection - <p>
Himalayan Strawberry Tree<br />
<em>Cornus capitata</em>  
  • McDowell Collection - Flannel Flower<br />
<em>Phylica pubescens</em>
  • McDowell Collection - Fuchsia Flowers<br />
  • McDowell Collection - <em>Podalyria calyptrata</em>
  • McDowell Collection - <em>Spiraea cantoniensis</em>
  • McDowell Collection - <em>Stachyurus praecox</em>
  • McDowell Collection - <em>Stewartia pseudo-camellia</em>
  • McDowell Collection - Slugs and Snails
  • McDowell Collection - Cydonia, Japonica or Flowering Quince<br />
<em>Chaenomeles japonica</em>
  • McDowell Collection - Rosemary







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