Main features of New Zealand Gardens:
When thinking about New Zealand, the first things that may spring to mind are the endless green landscapes, synonymous with Tolkien’s mystical world or perhaps it’s the infamous adrenaline-fuelled activities on offer for thrill-seekers.
What you might not think of are world-renowned gardens. In fact in New Zealand, gardening is rated as one of its resident’s favourite hobbies. There is no better place for cultivating stunning and diverse gardens than New Zealand.
Due to its geographical size and location; from the sub-tropical to the sub-alpine you’re guaranteed to find amazing plants here. With the cool, wet and temperate climate New Zealand has some fascinating native plants including the New Zealand Flax – Phormium Tenax, Griselinia Littoralis, Astelia Nervosa Westland, ornamental grasses such as Cortaderia Selloana Pumila, Pittosporum Tenuifolium and the infamous New Zealand Cabbage Tree.
New Zealand is a truly inspiring country full of natural beauty and wonder. A country full of spectacular landscapes and vegetation, New Zealand is a haven for nature-lovers and horticulturalists. With a wide spread of glorious gardens, each offering something different, from pristine privately-owned gardens to exotic public gardens – New Zealand is the perfect muse for any garden design.
Here at Paramount Plants we’re hard-pressed to narrow it down, but here are our top three favourite gardens from New Zealand, each offering something unique and hopefully triggering inspiration for your very own garden.
Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Christchurch is the ultimate Garden City; we can’t talk about New Zealand gardens without mentioning this historic city on the South Island. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens were founded in 1863 and it all started with the planting of an English Oak Tree. Today the gardens are extensive and display an impressive array of modern and heritage rose gardens (with over 250 varieties of rose), a large conservatory complex, herb gardens and countless exotic and native plants.
A key feature of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is the dazzling display of colourful Rhododendrons and Hydrangeas together with the Fragrant Garden (featuring highly scented plants such as Lavenders and Rosemary) and The Azalea & Magnolia Garden. These feminine blooms may look delicate but are hardy and suit most habitats which is why they are a best seller at Paramount Plants. You can easily add a touch of glamour to your garden with minimal upkeep required.
Hamilton Gardens is located in Hamilton in the Waikato Region of the North Island. Founded in the early 1960s these magnificent gardens now attract more than one million visitors a year – and it is easy to see why!
The impressive gardens present the theme of ‘the story of gardens’ and are divided into the Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape garden collections. All offer something different; from evergreen wilderness gardens that pay homage to New Zealand’s native plant roots (no pun intended) to Zen-filled oriental garden delights that will make you wonder if you’re still in New Zealand, a visit here will take your breath away.
Cordylines are scattered amongst the striking backdrops of the Hamilton Gardens. These pineapple-shaped evergreen shrubs originate from Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. We recommend these fast-growing and drought-tolerant plants for adding a touch of Kiwi charm to any garden.
Whangarei Quarry Gardens
Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a community garden project created by volunteers in the forested western hills of Whangarei City in the late 1990s. With the ongoing support of Whangarei District Council, Community Employment Groups and many loyal sponsors, this once dilapidated quarry site has become a subtropical oasis for all to enjoy.
Located in New Zealand’s Northland Region, with an annual rainfall of 1500 – 2000mm per year and New Zealand’s highest average temperatures, Northland possesses a truly subtropical climate. At Whangarei Quarry Gardens these climatic conditions, coupled with the sheltered and heat-radiating properties of a stone quarry, create an ideal microclimate for growing an abundance of native and exotic plants.
These gardens are still a work-in-progress but wonderful nonetheless. One of the jewels in the Whangarei Quarry Gardens crown is the mesmerising Fragrant Camellia Collection, home to 115 varieties, 49 of which are not found in any other public garden in the world.
Take a look at our full collection of New Zealand plants here.
For further New Zealand garden inspiration take a look at our detailed look at Phormiums.
If you have any tips or recommendations to pass on to your fellow gardeners’ we would love to hear from you, please leave us a comment in the comment section below.