Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth largest city and is located about 2 hours drive south of Auckland in the centre of the Waikato region. The Gardens are quite famous and deservedly so as they are unique. It won the International Garden of the Year award in 2014. The garden is alongside the Wakaito River which provides a stunning backdrop to some of the collections. Entry to the gardens is free.
The ‘story of gardens‘ is explored through five collections of gardens. [source of text is from the information plaques in the gardens]
Productive Garden Collection
Gardens representing different aspects of the relationship between people and plants.
- Te Parapara Maori Garden (above)
- Kitchen Garden
- Herb Garden
- Sustainable Backyard Garden
Fantasy Garden Collection
Gardens representing different forms of garden fantasy.
- Chinoiserie Garden
- Tudor Garden (under redevelopment at the moment)
- Tropical Garden
Cultivar Garden Collection
Gardens featuring plants selected and bred for the garden.
- Rogers Rose Garden (see separate post)
- Rhododendron Lawn
- Hammond Camellia Garden
- Victorian Flower Garden
Landscape Garden Collection
Gardens representing different historic interpretations of an idealised landscape.
- Bussaco Woodland
- Valley Walk
- Hamilton East Park Cemetery
- Echo Bank Bush
Paradise Garden Collection
Gardens representing some of the most significant garden design traditions.
- Chinese Scholar’s Garden
- English Flower Garden
- Japanese Garden of Contemplation
- Italian Renaissance Garden
- American Modernist Garden
- Indian Char Bagh Garden
Given we only had a limited time to explore and that the weather wasn’t in our favour being quite showery, we concentrated on the Paradise Collection, each of which will be posted individually otherwise this will become a very long post!