“Hamilton doesn’t have much going for it, except the gardens. That’s about it.”
The common attitude among the New Zealand students is that you have to leave Hamilton if you want to see and do stuff. However, despite the negative attitude towards Hamilton, I’ve only ever heard great things about the gardens. Since the weather was really nice on Sunday, a few of us decided to go there. The gardens are free to the public, which was surprising since you have to pay admission to go almost anywhere back home.
The gardens are broken into different sections with different themes. My favorite gardens, the Italian Renaissance and Indian Char Bagh, were from the Paradise Collection. It felt like you were entering a totally different country when walking into each area. Other gardens in this collection were the Chinese Scholar Garden and the Japanese Garden of Contemplation. It’s crazy that all these gardens in one place can have such different vibes and moods when you walk through them. From the feeling of being Europe to the serenity of Japan, there is so much culture included in the Hamilton Gardens.
In addition to the Paradise Collection, the gardens also have a Productive Collection and a Fantasy Collection. My favorite Productive Collection garden was the “sustainable backyard” which showed how a space the size of a backyard can be transformed into something you can use to live off of. Sustainability is an important issue in today’s world and having this space exemplifies how families can use their own backyard to help the environment. The Fantasy Collection included gardens such as the Tudor Garden and Tropical Garden. The Tudor Garden featured sculptures of mythical beasts which I thought were really interesting to look at. Since it is winter, the sculptures brought life into the gardens that weren’t fully in bloom. However, despite being winter, the gardens were still gorgeous. I can’t even begin to imagine how pretty they must be in the springtime.