Our Halfway House Heritage Garden Group at Glenside is inviting town folk to buy an heirloom fruit tree as a Christmas present this year.

The historic Halfway House at Glenside (a former coach stop on the road halfway between Wellington and Porirua) once had a big farm orchard. However today, there are only several plum trees and elderberry remaining.

The Garden Group is preparing the old orchard site to recreate a traditional farm orchard.
Each tree will cost about $50. The Garden Group will source the tree and invite the “donor” to plant it in autumn 2016.

“In time, we would hope that the donor returns to pick the fruit and in future, their descendants might like to continue the tradition,” said organiser Claire Bibby.

The orchard is modelled on fruit trees that were named in the orchard of the Stebbings, who farmed near-by.

“We are fortunate that the Stebbing twins, who were born in 1907 wrote about their extensive apple and plum tree orchard which had over 70 trees."

“We are also sourcing fruit trees named in an 1878 garden catalogue of W W McCardle of the Wairarapa, who supplied to Wellington growers.”

Other trees proposed for the orchard include quince, meddler and pear.

The orchard is part of a plan to develop an historic country garden which includes a flower bank, big country lawn and “bee” friendly flowers.

For more information, to volunteer, or to buy a tree, contact Claire on 022 186 5714.