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Hamilton RV & Camping Expo leads GoSee to summer magic of New Zealand Paradise Garden Collection

February 22, 2008
Hamilton RV & Camping Expo leads GoSee to summer magic of New Zealand Paradise Garden Collection

Hamilton Gardens most popular feature this summer is the floral colour burst in the Indian Char Bagh Garden. It certainly got GoSee's attention when we spent some happy hours in this surprise packet of Hamilton City.

The GoSee team is in Hamilton again for the New Zealand National Motorhome & Caravan Expo so please come and see us on our GoSee New Zealand stand 60 at the Expo from Thursday Feb. 28 to Sunday, March 2.

Like keeping up with Recreational Vehicle and camping equipment developments in a booming market on both sides of the Tasman Hamilton Gardens is a demanding task for the Hamilton Gardens staff.

Bedding plants are grown in the Municipal Nursery and planted out en masse just as they come into flower. As the Hamilton Gardens notes on their website - the timing is crucial!

Just up the road from the Hamilton Recreational Vehicle and Camping Expo Hamilton Gardens is a must stop spot.

In the Indian Char Bagh Garden the Persian Carpet effect, where the sunken beds allow the flowers to bloom at the same height as the path, is a blaze of colour. It is also a hive of activity as bees and butterflies are attracted to the nectar. The scent of the garden is trapped by the high Char Bagh walls and lingers in the air for all visitors to appreciate.

Hamilton Gardens says that -

Although their scale (and therefore their planting) is different, the grounds of the Taj Mahal are laid out in a similar way to the Char Bagh at Hamilton Gardens, with a four-quartered plan and the location of the main structure at one end of the garden instead of at the centre as it is with many other Mughal designs.

The English Flower Garden incorporates many elements common to traditional gardens, such as the use of walls and hedges to create a series of outdoor rooms that contain and unify a diverse collection of plants.

These spaces often have different planting themes and are typically linked by axis lines that terminate at an arbor, fountain, urn or seat.

India in radiant colours
India in radiant colours

The spaces are also linked with recurrent groups and drifts of good foliage plants that reinforce the sense of unity between garden compartments.

Italian Renaissance Gardens evolved from many sources, in particular the Arab garden traditions although Islamic symbolism was given a Christian interpretation.

The other major influence was a revival of interest in the cultures of antiquity, and the Renaissance designers constantly tried to emulate and surpass the ancient Greek and Roman achievements.

In the Japanese Garden of Contemplation ancient rules are used to produce the desired effect of the garden with Islands, trees and rocks.

Traditional English Garden. Hamilton Gardens
Traditional English Garden. Hamilton Gardens

These two gardens, the Shoin style scroll garden and the Zen garden will have no emphasis on flowers, colour or blossom; the monochromatic colour scheme of green and grey will create views of quiet graceful charm.

The Chinese Scholar's Garden reveals one of the oldest artistic expressions in existence with a heritage that stretches back to the Han Period, at least 2,000 years ago.

Because Chinese gardening has been a influential art form it is sometimes called the 'mother of gardens'.

Gardens of the Han Period were designed in close relationship to the contemporary arts of Chinese landscape painting, poetry, calligraphy and music (often written in or about the gardens and the landscapes that they evoke).

The American Modernist garden design has become recognised as a single 20th century phenomenon with some clearly defined characteristics. While its roots can be traced back to the 19th century it became a significant movement on the US western seaboard and in northern Europe, particularly France, Germany and Scandinavia in the 1930s.

The central synthesis of this garden is between the sharply linear concrete and decking grid pattern and the curving lines of the garden edges and kidney shaped pool with an abstract island sculpture.

Fluid echoes dance - Ripples of sun and water. Hold dreams in the caves
Fluid echoes dance - Ripples of sun and water. Hold dreams in the caves

The Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival ends on Sunday but the Hamilton Dahlia Show takes up the running on Sunday March 2 followed by the Funding Expo from Thursday March 6. Next cab off (no pun intended) is the Waikato Volkswagon Club Rally on Sunday March 23.

The National Chrysanthemum Show runs from Saturday, April 19 to Sunday April 20.

There is iconic excitement in the Hamilton Gardens too. Hamilton Gardens website reports that scientists from Landcare Research have discovered what they believe is the first tui chick to hatch and fledge within the city for several decades.

The discovery follows ongoing work research into the popular and iconic native bird that usually only visit Hamilton during winter months before disappearing from the city to nest in large native forest areas around the Waikato over the summer months.

But, a female nicknamed Casper, has bucked the trend and not only established a successful nest in the Hamilton Gardens but successfully fledged the chick.

Scientist Corinne Watts says it is an exciting find and one that holds significant promise for more tui to return to the city to nest.

Romes legends in the Italian Renaissance Garden
Romes legends in the Italian Renaissance Garden

Hamilton Gardens covers an area of 58 hectares at the southern end of Hamilton City, New Zealand. It is a public park owned and managed by the Hamilton City Council.

Admission to all areas of Hamilton Gardens is free.

Some minor garden development started in the early 1960's and the Rogers Rose Garden was made in 1971 but most development has occurred since 1982.

Today Hamilton Gardens is the most popular visitor attraction in the region with about 600,000 visitors each year, nearly half of them being tourists.

There are nearly 2000 events held within Hamilton Gardens each year.

The unique theme of Hamilton Gardens is 'the story of gardens' which is explored through a series of five garden collections.

The Paradise Garden Collection featuring gardens representing some of the most significant garden design traditions.

The Productive Garden Collection representing different aspects of the relationship between people and plants.

The Fantasy Garden Collection representing different forms of garden fantasy.

The Cultivar Garden Collection featuring the story of plants selected and bred for the garden.

The Landscape Garden Collection with areas representing the different historic interpretations of an idealised landscape.

A sight for sore eyes
A sight for sore eyes

Hamilton Gardens is located on State Highway One, just south of Hamilton City and east of the Cobham Bridge. If you are coming from the north, look for Hamilton Gardens on your right just after crossing the river.

If you are travelling on State Highway One from the south, look for the signed entrances into the first large park on your left before you cross the river.

Access from Cobham Drive by either Gate 1 or 2 will take you directly to parking near most of the main facilities.

During the weekends you are more likely to find plenty of parking from Gate 2.

If you don't know you way around Hamilton Gardens follow the signs to the Information Centre where you can pick up a free map of the Gardens.

A bus service operates to Hamilton Gardens during the University and Wintec semesters only.

Guided tours can be arranged through the Hamilton Gardens Information Centre.

The price is $5 per person, with group and School discounts available by prior arrangement.

The tours are provided by members of the Friends of Hamilton Gardens and all proceeds go towards future development projects.

Hamilton Gardens hides great beauty beyond its entrance arch
Hamilton Gardens hides great beauty beyond its entrance arch
Sometimes specialist guides can be arranged for specific groups, such as a Mandarin speaker or a knowledgeable horticulturalist. Phone (64)078386782 FAX (64) 07 838 6801 or Email
A different perspective at every turn
A different perspective at every turn

Hamilton Gardens says this seasonal guide is subject to seasonal variations.

January /February

The Rogers Rose Garden, Dahlia displays beside the Governors' Lawn, Herb Garden, Italian Renaissance Garden, English Flower Garden and Summer bedding in the Victorian Flower Garden.

March /April

Rogers Rose Garden, Dahlia and Chrysanthemum displays beside the Governors' Lawn, Display Houses in the Victorian Flower Garden.

May /June

Autumn foliage, Temperate House and Cactus House in the Victorian Flower Garden. Also look out for the Camellia Walk and berrying shrubs.

July /August

Hammond Camellia Garden, The Greenhouses in the Victorian Flower Garden, Rhododendron Lawn, Magnolias in the Bussaco Woodland.

September /October

Hammond Camellia Garden, Rhododendron Lawn, Daffodils on the Hillside Lawn, Kitchen Garden,

November /December

Rogers Rose Garden (Look for the new trial roses to be judged in late November), English Flower Garden, Italian Renaissance Garden, Kitchen Garden, Herb Garden, Perfume Garden, bedding displays in the Victorian Flower Garden.

The central theme gardens are open from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm in winter and 8pm in summer.

The Information Centre is open seven days a week from 10.00am to 4.00pm and later during busy summer periods.

The Gardens Caf is open from 10am to 5pm in winter and 10am to 6pm in summer, although these times can be extended to meet demand.

The Victorian Flower Garden Display Houses are open from 10am to 4pm in winter and from 10am to 5pm in summer.

Dogs are permitted on a lead in all areas at Hamilton Gardens except for the enclosed theme garden area between the Pavilion and river. They are permitted off a lead on the Hillside Lawn below the cemetery. Site maps defining these areas are available on site. The Hamilton Gardens Information

Centre, located at the centre of Hamilton Gardens, is normally open from 10am to 4pm seven days a week.

Editor's Note: GoSee acknowledges with thanks the assistance of Hamilton Gardens in compiling this feature.

NZ National Motorhome and Caravan Expo and Rally

If motorhomes, caravans, camper trailers, pop-tops, campervans Fifth Wheelers, tents or any RV and camping accessories grab you then this expo is a must visit.

Hosted in Hamilton, at the Claudelands Event Centre the expo is the motorhome and caravan industrys icon event.

Expo attractions include camping and outdoor equipment and accessories and new product releases.

Kea Campers will build a 6 berth Motorhome during the four days of the Expo.

Admission Price:
Adult - $12
Child - $3 (under 5 - free)
Liberty Pass - $18

(Liberty Pass will give that person the freedom to enter and re-enter, at their leisure, for the duration of the exhibition).

Dates Hours

9am to 5pm each day.

Thursday 28th February
Friday 29th February
Saturday 1st March
Sunday 2nd March

We have added pictures from GoSee's Hamilton Gardens visit to the end of this feature. Most GoSee features have been developed with the addition of our Multi-View to pictures. To see the BIG PICTURE just hold your mouse over the image.

Paradise Garden Collection
Paradise Garden Collection
Indian Char Bagh Waikato riverside Garden Hamilton Gardens
Indian Char Bagh Waikato riverside Garden Hamilton Gardens
Japanese Garden of Contemplation
Japanese Garden of Contemplation
Roman style Hamilton Gardens
Roman style Hamilton Gardens
Roman villa complete will herb gardens
Roman villa complete will herb gardens
Soft water sounds
Soft water sounds
The Paradise Garden theme of India. Soft breeze and flower scents. Hamilton Gardens
The Paradise Garden theme of India. Soft breeze and flower scents. Hamilton Gardens
Turtle Lake Boardwalk
Turtle Lake Boardwalk
Waikato River from Hamilton Gardens
Waikato River from Hamilton Gardens