As a child it was a place where she found enjoyment playing at the old playground. And as an adult, it’s been a place to celebrate and commemorate her loved ones.
Originally from Johnsonville but now a Porirua resident, Janet has been visiting the gardens, located in Kelburn, for at least 50 years.
She recalls many visits to the capital, where she would walk down Lambton Quay, then up Cable Car Lane, and ride the iconic red carriage to the top.
“We did the Cable Car back in the day when you sat on the seat outside – you often lost your jandals over the edge!
“Then suddenly you’re in the Botanic Garden and you’ve got that view. We used to have picnics there and we always enjoyed the playground – they used to have a witch’s hat and a boat swing we would play on.”
The Botanic Garden is recognised as a Garden of National Significance and was the first public garden to be classified as a historic area by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
With 25 hectares of specialised plant collections, protected native forest, unique landscapes and stunning views, the garden is an ideal wedding location.
Janet’s sister Christine married in The Dell, an outdoor space located behind the Begonia House. Janet cherishes her memories of the day, as Christine has since passed away.
Because many of the tracks within the garden are accessibility friendly, Janet has been able to visit with her mother.
“We’d take mum in the wheelchair and visit the gardens and talk about Christine there.”