George Gibb immigrated from Kent, arriving in New Zealand in 1874, with his family. He was appointed Curator of the Botanic Garden on November 15, 1889, replacing William Bramley. Although three other people sought the position, he must have been well suited to the role. Gibb moved into the cottage, now known as the Director’s Cottage, with his family. This was provided rent free as part of the perks of the position, in addition to a small salary. In 1891 George Gibb was receiving £7 10s per month for his services. Additional benefits to living in the cottage included the tethering of a cow and sufficient firewood.
Although administrative changes were already being discussed when he took up his position, the first two years of his employment were spent under the Board's direction as Head Gardener. It could not have been an easy time for him as he had to maintain over sixty acres with only one other permanent worker. Nevertheless, Hector said in his evidence at the time of the Vesting Act in 1891 that, apart from the gorse and a broken fence along Tinakori Road, the garden was in good shape.
After the changeover to Council control, the work remained difficult for Gibb, but his position improved in that he was now "chief horticultural advisor to the Council. " It was 1897 before they were in a position to advertise for a suitable person to administer all the Reserves controlled by Wellington City.
George Gibb competed in many flower and vegetable shows of the time and was also a judge at such events. In 1896 he won premier place and prize for the staging of 6 native trees at the Horticultural Show.
Before his appointment as Curator of the Botanic Garden he resided at 14 Lloyd Street (now Hania Street). Evidently, he returned to this address on his retirement in 1901 as Wises' directory lists George Gibb, gardener, there until 1910. In 1912 the occupier is shown as Miss E E Gibb who continued living there until 1923. This was either Emmaline Eugenia Gibb or Evelina Ellen Gibb, who were their surviving children.
George Gibb was married to Matilda who died in 1906, aged 74. In 1888 Edwin, their son, died age 28, of consumption and in 1889 they lost their youngest daughter Edith Emily, aged 16, to consumption as well. In addition to the already mentioned children they had Edgar, Ellen Esther, and Esther Emmeline, who may also have survived their parents.
In 1901 Gibb had a dreadful train accident in Petone, losing both of his lower legs as a result. As he could no longer perform his duties as Keeper, retired shortly after this. George Kay filled the position on a temporary basis until George Glen took over as Keeper.