Each of the gardens in our Productive Collection address aspects of the relationship between people and plants.
From the herbs used by the early New Zealand colonists to a modern form of sustainable gardening, the Productive Collection showcases the edible beauty of cultivated food crops throughout history.
Currently under development is the Medieval Garden which will include plants which supported the healing of the sick in a monastic hospital, the Pasifika Garden which will grow plants of economic significance to the Pacific Islands, and the Ancient Egyptian Garden which marks the starting point of 4,000 years of gardening depicted at Hamilton Gardens.
Under development for the Productive Collection
From the fall of the Roman empire through to the 16th century, a distinctive form of medieval garden was the monastic, cloistered courtyard. The structure of the courts in this example are based on the ruins of St John of the Hermits Monastery in Sicily.
One court is a simple Cloister Garth, which was a form of courtyard generally used by the monks for prayer and contemplation. The other is an Apothecary’s Garden, which supported the healing of the sick in a monastic hospital.
A tall glasshouse will enclose the Pasifika Garden, a microclimate showcasing productive plants from the South Pacific: yam, talo, ta’amu, sweet potato, arrowroot, sugar cane, ti, paper mulberry, pandanus, taro, banana, breadfruit and possibly the kava and coconut.
It will also feature a Samoan fale afalau (shelter). Interpretation in the entrance foyer will explain the use and cultivation of these plants and their place in South Pacific cultures.
Ancient Egyptian Garden
A ‘Middle Kingdom’ temple garden that displays many of the common ancient Egyptian garden features such as: a symmetrical layout enclosed within high mud brick walls, dramatic entranceway, a ‘step pool’ stocked with fish, and vine covered pergolas for shade. Most of the plants they used for offerings, cures, rituals and processions can be grown in this climate.
Despite the wealth of information on these sophisticated ancient gardens, there is no trace of one being recreated in modern times.
We are also adding a further garden to our Fantasy Garden collection.