You can almost feel the heat of the tropics here. It’s as if this part of Hamilton Gardens has been transported to warmer climates.
It is designed to fulfil a common gardeners’ fantasy of creating a garden suited to a completely different climactic region. You might dream of having an alpine garden in London, a lush lawn in the Arizona desert or perhaps a tropical garden in a city like Hamilton that experiences winter frosts.
To ensure the garden survives the Waikato winters (with temperatures as low as -6º), the planting has been designed so hardier plants offer protection to more tender ones. Frost protection is also provided by an irrigation system.
The Tropical Garden uses exotic plants including bromeliads, orchids and palms to create a dense, junglelike atmosphere. There is plenty of horticultural interest with Clivia, Xeronema, Niphidium, Darmera and other species providing bold, lush textures. Unusual bamboo species have been planted in concrete pipes to control their spread.
Another feature is the vertical garden which has 4,000 cells housing individual plants that form a wall of green vegetation alongside the pond.