News | 1 February 2023
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Wellington gardens win awards and commendations

Two of Wellington’s iconic gardens have come up smelling of roses garnering a number of significant awards to add to their blooming trophy cabinet.

Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush garden with bush in background
Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush credit Chris Coad

Recent assessments of Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush and Botanic Garden ki Paekākā saw the popular sites achieve high commendations and awards recognising the ‘hours of work by passionate, creative and knowledgeable people’.

Ōtari-Wilton’s Bush continues to fulfil the requirements of a 6-Star Garden of International Significance, and was commended for its gardens, new visitor centre and renovations, plant collections, conservation research and propagation. The only recommendation from the assessors was to keep doing what they are doing.

Manager Ōtari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve Tim Park and the team are very proud of Ōtari’s continued ranking as a Garden of International Significance by the NZ Garden Trust.

“My team has put in a massive effort to maintain our diverse collection of native plants through challenging times in recent years. We are very pleased that the work we are doing to renovate the Gardens was appreciated by the assessors.

“We have also recently expanded the capacity of the Lions Ōtari Plant Conservation Laboratory, which is developing techniques to save some of Aotearoa’s most threatened native plants including orchids (and their mycorrhizal partners), kauri and species affected by myrtle rust.

“We have recently refreshed the visitor centre in partnership with mana whenua and local artists and are stoked that this new space was commended in the judges’ notes.”

Drone footage shot of summer patchwork display at Wellington Botanic Garden.
Patchwork summer display at Botanic Garden ki Paekākā

Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā was recognised as a 5-Star Garden of National Significance and was commended for its new meadows approach, the main garden spaces, and the Victorian bedding gardens were singled out for being particularly stunning. The interactive learning area for kids was also acknowledged as ‘great’, and a good use of a steep slope.

Botanic Garden ki Paekākā was also recently recognised with a Qualmark Gold Award under the Sustainable Tourism Business criteria.

Botanic Garden’s Manager David Sole says: “The Botanic Garden’s achievement of its Qualmark Gold certification is testament to the Garden’s presentation, and also reflects the unseen background work and systems which continue to make the Garden one of the ‘must visit’ destinations in the region.

“This, alongside the Garden continuing to be recognised as a Garden of National Significance, has coincided nicely with the return of visitors to the Capital and the fabulous summer.”