Scroll down to see the progress achieved by the Heritage Gardener's in 2022, with the support of the local community and Wellington City Council.
For the financial year 1 April 2021 to end of March 2022, the Heritage Gardeners contributed 512 volunteer hours in the garden.
During Heritage Week, His Excellency Dr Richard Davies, husband of the Governor General, planted a rimu tree to commemorate the Queen's Jubilee. Dr Davies said in his speech, "For her Platinum Jubilee year, Queen Elizabeth encouraged a global movement to "Plant a tree for the Jubilee" with over 100,000 planted in New Zealand alone. I'm honoured to add to that impressive tally, and to commemorate her 70-year reign."
Dr Davies went on to say "In 1869 Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited New Zealand as part of the first-ever Royal visit to Aotearoa. Under the watchful eye of the Government House gardener, the Duke planted a tree on the site of the vice-regal residence. The tree was provided by Thomas Drake, who lived nearby Halfway House. I am here today, over 150 years later, returning the gesture with a rimu for these historic gardens. I'm glad to be joined by others who also have historic connections to this area - very fitting given it is Heritage Week."
Ann Foster, wife for immediate past Mayor Andy Foster, then planted a Paolina Maggi camellia in rememberance of her ancestors Edwin and Mary Bannister, who lived at the house Woodlawn, across the stream from the Halfway House, from about 1870 to 1900. having owned the land since 1855.
Everyone adjourned to the house for afternoon tea and had their photograph taken on the steps in the garden.
Churton Park primary school children came down to the Halfway House as part of their history studies.
The children split into three groups taking turns to learn about the vegetables and flowers in the garden, draw the historic Halfway House and go for a bush walk.
Highlights in the vegetable garden were the Jerusalem Artichokes, a root vegetable native to the North American prairie. This plant is from the sunflower family and grows very tall! The children were also amazed when an urenika potato was snapped in half to reveal it’s bright purple flesh.
Johnsonville Ranger Guides visited the garden and took pot marigold seedlings home to grow.
Tawa U3A enjoying one of our Heritage Garden Walk & Talk events at the garden.
Site proposed for the fernery
The fernery is our project for 2022, thanks to a generous donation from the Johnsonville Garden Club.
In the first edition of Gardening for New Zealand (1885), author Michael Murphy wrote that the fernery was usually a favourite spot in the garden, its seclusion and coolness providing a refreshing change to the body and mind.