At Remuera Gardens, all residents agree that they’ve found their little slice of paradise. With lush greenery, colourful flowers and well-manicured lawns, the village’s gardens offer a serene and picturesque environment for residents to enjoy all year around. During the autumn and winter months the star of the show is the camellia. These flowering plants are highly prized for their colourful and often fragrant blossoms, which bring a burst of colour and beauty to gardens during the cooler months of the year.
Aaron Sweden is the most devoted gardener at Remuera Gardens, having spent the last seven years photographing and cataloguing every plant in the village. Aaron applied for the job after seeing some pictures of the village on the internet: “I saw some photos of the gardens on the internet and I went Wow beautiful! It would be great to work with a team of people that are really garden minded and working in a place which has so much variety, interest and therefore satisfaction from your work environment.”
Aaron is passionate about his job and that’s the reason he has so much fun labelling the plants of the village. It’s a detective work that involves him doing lots of research among books, encyclopaedias and the internet, and sometimes he also takes samples to the Auckland Botanic Gardens to find their match. He thinks he has labelled 80% of the garden but he’s not stopping yet: “My plant knowledge has increased ten-fold since I started working at Remuera Gardens. Unfortunately, there are some plants that I still cannot identify, including a magnolia, a camellia and a few varieties of roses. I haven’t given up though!”
Aaron has designed beautiful labels for the plants and now the residents can walk around the village not only admiring the camellias, but also knowing which variety they are, which gives a more complete experience of the garden. Aaron loves sharing his passion with the residents and some of them even like challenging his expertise: “There’s a lovely resident who always brings unusual plants to surprise his girlfriend and of course he comes to show me these plants. Many years ago he donated a Moonflower plant to the village, one of the most romantic plants, with its trumpet-shaped flowers unfurling in the evening and staying open until the sun rises.”
The village’s gardens are not only a space of beauty and tranquillity, but they also provide the residents with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors without venturing far from home. By spending time in the gardens, the residents enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunlight, in the immediate surrounding of their own home.