The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 3 (June 1, 1937)
At many stations individual tablet porters and others have found pleasure in beautifying the immediate surroundings of their stations, by gardens, lawns, and other decorative efforts, while many railway houses are notable for their finely-kept gardens and well-tended orchards.
The new stations at Auckland and Wellington gave the Department an opportunity for expressing the value it places on aesthetic considerations not only in the design of the buildings but also in their setting. At Auckland station the Railway gardens are recognised to be a valuable asset both to the Railways and the City, and a large area of valuable land was specially provided to enable this effect to be produced. There the Department employs regularly a skilled gardener, and it has nurseries for flowers and plants on the roof of the Auckland station.
At some railway centres, e.g., Otahuhu and Hillside, the railway staff run their own flower shows very successfully, and they sometimes have garden circles, with regular advice from professional gardeners, the results of whose efforts have been the subject of frequent favourable comment both by visitors and in the newspapers.
On many occasions photographs of railway gardens in various localities have been featured in the press of the Dominion and also in overseas publications.
At the Wellington new station a very large area has been provided by the Department in front of the station and is now being prepared with the best available professional skill for lawns and gardens.
On the station roof there is to be a glass house to provide a nursery for young trees. Provision is also being made for considerable beautification along the route of the Tawa Flat deviation.
When new lines are built (as in the case of the Waterloo line) reserves are set aside for beautification purposes and this feature will also have attention along the routes of lines at present under construction.
When circumstances warrant, subsidies are granted to Societies who have helped in beautifying railway reserves, and free railage for requisites as well as shrubs and trees for planting are provided by the Department where desirable.
Among stations where railway reserves and premises have been improved by the co-operation of local interests and the railway staff may be mentioned: Port Chalmers, Balclutha, Burnside, Mosgiel, Stirling, Sawyer's Bay, Dunedin, Timaru, Winton, Lumsden, Palmerston, Waikari, Fairlie, the Lyttelton Line, Little River, Dunsandel, Papanui, Rangiora, Rakaia, Heathcote, Picton, Hawera, Otaki, Lower Hutt, Port Ahuriri, Te Awamutu, Morrinsville, Hangatiki, Tahora, Kiwitahi, Kaiwaka, Whangarei, Hamilton, Manurewa, Otahuhu, Penrose, Sylvia Park, Katikati, Puha, Leeston and Southbrook.