|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2014)|
|Operated by||Hamilton City Council|
|Visitors||one million per year|
Hamilton Gardens is a public garden in the south of Hamilton owned and managed by Hamilton City Council in New Zealand. They are the Waikato Region's most popular visitor attraction, attracting more than 1 million people and holding over 2,000 events each year. The gardens present the theme of 'the story of gardens' and are divided into the Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape garden collections.
Hamilton Gardens is located between the bank of the Waikato River and State Highway 1. Entry and parking to the gardens is free. The enclosed themed gardens are open during daylight hours. In the center of Hamilton Gardens there is a convention center called the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion, a volunteer operated Information Center and the Hamilton Gardens Cafe.
The first development of gardens began in the early 1960s at what was then the city's waste disposal site. The first substantial development, the Rogers Rose Garden, was opened in 1971 in an attempt to block highway development over the site. Since 1982 many newly developed areas have been opened to the public. Additional features of the gardens include a lake walkway and a waterfall outlook.
Many services at the gardens are run by volunteers, including an Information Center, located centrally in the Fern Court area.
Hamilton Gardens won the Garden of the Year award at the International Garden Tourism Awards in 2014.
History of the Gardens
In 1960, four acres of what had been Hamilton East Town Belt was passed over to Hamilton City Council for the purposes of a public garden. An opening ceremony for Hamilton Gardens was held on 24 July 1960. The design of this area was, and still is, firmly in the Gardenesque tradition, with specimen trees and flower beds set in flat lawns.
In 1971 Hamilton was to host the first World Rose Convention. At that time Hamilton had rose gardens at the Lake Domain, but these were limited in size, so a new rose garden was established at Hamilton Gardens.It was named after Dr Denis Rogers, mayor of Hamilton from 1959 to 1968, seen at right planting the first rose. Since 2001 the New Zealand Rose of the Year Trials and the Pacific Rose Bowl Festival have been held at the Rogers Rose Garden.
In the late 1970s a new concept for Hamilton Gardens was developed. This new concept would see Hamilton Gardens depart from traditional botanic garden model, partially because of the proximity of Auckland Botanic Gardens. The focus of Hamilton Gardens was to be on garden design, rather than on botanical science.
This concept was developed throughout the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, with the current garden collection structure being established and built upon. The first of the Paradise Gardens were opened in 1992.
Paradise Garden Collection
Cultivar Garden Collection
Productive Garden Collection
Landscape Garden Collection
Fantasy Garden Collection
- Irvine, Denise (11 October 2014). "Hamilton Gardens a Star Attraction". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax NZ. Retrieved 11 October 2014.