A native NZ gin featuring rosehips harvested from the Wellington Botanical Gardens has so far raised more than $5,000 for a new science and discovery centre in the Gardens’ Begonia House, a capital landmark that attracts more than 400,000 visitors each year.
Down the Garden Path Gin was developed by The Bond Store and Friends of the Botanic Gardens to raise funds for the eco-interpretation centre. It features traditional botanicals, native kawakawa, and rosehips specially harvested from the Lady Norwood Rose Gardens; including from several heritage roses, resulting in a distinctive aromatic gin that is a salute to both domestic gardens and the beloved Rose Gardens. A portion of sales goes directly to the Begonia House project.
Mazz Scannell, President of the Friends of the Wellington Botanic Garden, says the eco-interpretation centre will provide an interactive element to provide educational support, something they hope will encourage a greater understanding of NZ’s native plants and ecosystem.
“We want to create an interactive space within the Begonia House that explains the role of plants in our ecosystem. This could include weather stations for measuring moisture, air temperature and quality – all connected to tablets that people could use to look at and learn about the environment here and compare other distant environments.
“We want to encourage curiosity and emphasise the role of science in our daily lives, which is important as we see a decline in the number of university students studying science – which is worrying in the context of today’s societies in which science and technology play an essential role,” she says.
Since launching last month, Down the Garden Path Gin has become a best-seller for the Bond Store. Bec Kay, Chief Distiller at the Bond Store, believes the gin’s immediate success is driven by the public’s love for native gin and the act of giving back.
“It’s been a real labour of love creating a gin that reflects the Botanic Gardens – incorporating the rosehips was something new for us, and we’ve been blown away by the love people have for it. Supporting a project that gives back to nature and educates people about our environment has also been a huge drawcard.
“We’re already turning our sights to 2023 and what we can collaborate on together next – Wellington’s Botanic Gardens are overflowing with gin inspiration, so we’re excited to see what we can create in the future,” she says.
So far, the Friends of the Botanic Gardens have raised over $12,000 towards the eco-interpretation centre and estimate they will need $50,000- $100,00 to complete the project. Down the Garden Path can be purchased directly from The Bond Store.