Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand focuses on plant collections with an emphasis on different types of garden design. Traditional botanic gardens concentrate on plant collections, conservation, research and education. Where Hamilton Gardens differs is in its unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens from around the world over the past 4,000 years and through the lens of different artistic eras.

Below, we’ll touch on just a handful of the spaces that gave us inspirational design tools that we could use in our gardens using our Dig plant themes.

All photos c. Leo & Lydia Morton

A Jungle Garden

An indulgent amount of green tones, layers and textures filled with ferns, grasses and moss engulf this space. The use of water provides reflection as well as the impression that you could be deep in the Amazon rainforest. We love the splash of colour on the hard landscapes like the painted walls and bright blue bridges that pop out amidst a canvas of green leaves.

Explore our Jungle theme.

A Japanese Zen Garden

Minimalistic, subtle and controlled surroundings with hard landscapes entwined within the design using stones and large rocks. Rounded evergreen shrubs and topiary placed purposefully into the space with trees maintained and celebrated for their shape and movement created by their branches.

Explore similarities in our Classic and Nordic themes.

A Mediterranean Paradise Garden

Even on a grey day, you can feel the warmth in this space surrounded by mediterranean plants. Lush greens, turquoise waters and movement in loose grasses and flowers like Gaura situated among terracotta pots and lemon trees transport you to sun-drenched Italy or Greece immediately on entering this space.

See more influences in our Mediterranean theme

An Indian Paradise Garden

Vibrant and bold colours of red, orange and yellow Cockscomb, bubblegum pink Cosmos and deep purples of the Salvia burst out of symmetrical and structural beds situated around a rigid water fountain display.

We love the use of fun colours and the way it lifts your mood, also a favourite amongst kids!

Our Adventure theme aligns neatly with this style, check it out here.  

A Contemporary Modern Garden

This minimal garden design oozes luxury and uses clever techniques to celebrate the design in itself. Using windows as if they were frames is a great example, allowing the viewer to focus and enjoy your plants as if they were art.

Although there is little colour, the textures and placements provide sufficient interest, including deck chairs, white sculptures and a big bright aqua pool which all stand out among the linear tones.

Our Classic and Mediterranean themes both can achieve these looks. 

A Surrealist Garden

Inspired by the Surrealist art movement, the scale of art landscapes challenged by design in this space give an Alice in Wonderland whimsy to the space. The planting design itself is minimalistic, highlighting the exaggerated and enlarged doors and curving pavings, as well mechanical moving branches above.

Our Classic theme would pair well if you wanted to show off your landscapes and furniture.

The English Cottage Garden

This garden gives off a buzz, and not just from the bees. Lots of perennials, bulb plants mean this section of Hamilton Gardens sees approximately 100 photos taken per minute by visitors by our estimate. When you walk through the English Cottage Garden corridor from the entrance you can see why. *Quick pause here to buy 10 different Dahlias*.

Our Cottage theme is just for you if you like the idea of an English country garden filled with sweet and wonderful flowers.

The Kitchen Garden

A kitchen garden is always exciting. Exploring what crops and flowers are growing, spotting bright yellow squashed amongst wide umbrella leaves and resisting temptation to pick and eat a juicy red tomato. 

We love the pairing of flowers amongst the crops, providing not only a welcoming splash of colour as with these Zinnias but also introducing a great way to encourage pollinators to come along into your space to give you more and healthier crops to enjoy!

For a Dig theme that might suit fans of a Kitchen Garden… well, you’ll just have to stay tuned!