Barbara Wheeler

Team Profile

Barbara is Curator at Auckland Botanic Gardens.

She has worked in public horticulture since 1990. Barbara worked at Admiralty House (the house of the Australian Governor General) in Sydney, Australia, for one year as second in charge to the Head Gardener. Most of Barbara’s working career has been in Dunedin, where she received her initial apprenticeship training at Dunedin Botanic Garden. She co-produced and co-presented a radio show ‘In the Garden’ for two years on Otago Access Radio. In mid-2021 she left her role as Collections Supervisor at Dunedin Botanic Garden to move to her current position in Auckland.

Barbara undertook further training at Longwood Gardens in the International Gardener Program, and later completing a Practical Diploma in Horticulture at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden, Wisley.

In 2019–2020, Barbara returned to Longwood Gardens to complete their prestigious Fellows Program. As part of the Longwood Fellows Program, she undertook a two-month field placement at Morton Arboretum in Chicago. The experiences that Barbara has gained are invaluable in her role on the RNZIH National Executive.

Associations & Society Memberships

  • Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (Executive Member, 2021–present)

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow – Longwood Gardens (2019–2020)
  • Scholarship to undertake a two-week placement at Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly – Royal Horticulture Society, UK (2000)
  • Scholarship to study the flora of Israel – Royal Horticulture Society, UK (1999)