Experience the magnificence of the English Flower Garden and be transported back in time.

Stroll through garden rooms, among summer drifts of flowers and roses climbing over bowers. This is a famous design style from the ‘Arts and Crafts’ movement, sometimes called a ‘garden of a golden afternoon’.

This is a classic English ‘garden of a golden afternoon’ from the years before the First World War. Walls and hedges create garden rooms that are home to seasonal drifts of flowers and roses climbing over bowers. It follows the seasons, with blooms of colour in the sun-filled months before falling quiet over winter. The ‘Arts and Craft’ movement looked back to the handmade in a time when coal-powered machines were beginning to remake the world.



Free entry

Best viewed: Sep – Feb (Spring, Summer)

9.00am - 5.00pm, last entry 4.30pm

Easily accessible

NZ native flora

What you'll find in the English Flower Garden

  • Plants and flowers displayed in all their glory
  • Victorian influenced ornate finery, set against natural motifs
  • Traditional lines with water features and simple pathways.

Background of the English Flower Garden

A golden afternoon blooms again, unveiling the English Flower Garden…

Imagine strolling through a sun-drenched haven, where vibrant blooms burst forth in a symphony of colour and fragrance. This is the essence of the English Flower Garden at Hamilton Gardens, a captivating testament to the Arts and Crafts movement that flourished in the late 19th century.

During this era, a yearning for simplicity and natural beauty arose in opposition to the heavy, ornate Victorian style. The Arts and Crafts movement championed traditional craftsmanship and organic forms, a philosophy beautifully reflected in these "gardens of a golden afternoon."

While many European styles focused solely on showcasing flowers and plant collections, the English Flower Garden goes a step further. Imagine walled enclosures creating cozy outdoor rooms, each bursting with a diverse tapestry of flowers and foliage. Themed plantings and symmetrical layouts guided by central axis lines add a touch of order to this vibrant explosion of nature.

Two key rooms contain the long border inspired by Gerturde Jeykll, who had a huge impact on garden design, particularly with the use of perennials and the White Garden which it takes its name from the famous White Garden at Sissinghurst, Kent, England.

Though the golden age of these gardens is often associated with the pre-war period, their influence continues to inspire. The English Flower Garden at Hamilton Gardens stands as a testament to this enduring legacy, inviting you to step into a world of tranquil beauty and artistic expression.

Wander through the sun-dappled paths and experience the timeless charm of the English Flower Garden.

A hand holding their phone with the Gardens map on the screen

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