The olive groves around the Park Lands were a Victorian-era solution to the degradation of some areas in the first decades of the colony.

By the 1850s, due to the effects of grazing and clearing for firewood, most of the Park Lands had become bare dust-bowls in summer and quagmires in winter. Concern over the aesthetic degradation led to an increased public demand for something to be done.

Originally, olives were seen as an optimal solution, being both fast growing and potentially lucrative. This sheltered grove was planted in 1872 by city gardener William Pengilly. By 1884, about 1,500 olive trees bordered Victoria Park. Attempts by contractors to create an industry by processing the oil, however, eventually proved unsuccessful.

By the 1880s, the olive trees in the Park Lands had fallen out of favour for more ornamental plantings. However this grove, and another one, across Wakefield Road in neighbouring King Rodney Park, both remain much as they were originally set out.

Did you know members of the public can register to pick olives from certain groves in the Park Lands? Find out more here.

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Spoken description - Olive grove
Creator: Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association
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