“Nice buns!” we said as we passed this grave marker in the Bolton Street Cemetery after strolling through the Wellington Botanic Gardens (Photo 1). THIS is the side that faces the main path as you walk down the hill back into the city. Intrigued, tongue in cheek, we asked whether, possibly, the other side….??? We didn’t think it likely, but the other side shows full frontal nudity. It isn’t a big deal today, but this was dedicated in 1937, so….props to New Zealand!
Following are a bazillion photos of the Botanic Gardens, as there were so many colors and different types of woodlands and vegetation. The gardens were founded in 1868, and we saw a few conifers that were imported from California in that year and are among the oldest trees in New Zealand. As we walked through, there was a loud buzzing, or chirping. It was tens of thousands of cicadas…a little creepy, as they are quite large. Then one dive-bombed directly into my neck, and just like a forlorn scared woman in a horror movie, I screamed! Everyone looked. Super-embarrassed, we just walked on nonchalantly, as if I scream all the time.
Intermixed in those photos is one of the Wellington Cable Car (which started in 1902), which is actually a funicular that runs up the side of the mountain, from downtown to the upper level where the gardens begin (or end; but most people ride up and walk down, not vice-versa). It has one track and one car, so…not really a cable car, like those in San Francisco. We walked through the Rose Garden, as well….the close-up of the purple rose bush is a variety whose name we loved….Honky Tonk Blues. Following that is a strange art installation for an extensive garden…one of six wire trees! The last photo is interesting. It is part of the Government Buildings, and believe it or not, it is entirely made of timber, apparently to stand up against earthquakes better than heavier, less flexible materials. It was completed in 1876, and resembles an Italian stone palace. Even close up, it is hard to tell that it is wood!