Did you know there is a New Zealand Garden in The Savill Garden as part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Crown Estate? This sits in Windsor Great Park and for a New Zealander it really feels like home when you walk around.
In 2012 some benefactors made a gift of a sculpture ‘Lie of the Land’ by New Zealand artist John Edgar which you can also view. When Captain James Cook voyaged to New Zealand from England in 1768 he mapped New Zealand. English botanist Sir Joseph Banks took part in this voyage and with his team collected specimens and produced botanical illustrations of New Zealand plants. John Edgar made this sculpture as a reference to this horticultural association between the United Kingdom and New Zealand dating back to these voyages.
The plumb bob, a simple but essential piece of building equipment which is part of the sculpture, is there in reference to ‘finding home’ or ‘finding true’.
The garden was designed by Sam Martin who is a Kiwi Londoner and has around 3,000 New Zealand plants in it.
The native flora of New Zealand is unique as it evolved in isolation for millions of years, so our plant species are very special and it’s wonderful to have them preserved in the UK as well as New Zealand for people outside New Zealand to visit and appreciate.
The garden is laid out on a habitat basis, reflecting how plants sit in their environments on New Zealand’s different islands. Because New Zealand is long and thin, the latitude changes mean that there are many different microcosmic environments along the island, from subtropical in the North to grasses and plains in the South and mountainous terrain in between. New Zealand grasses by the beaches are called ‘tussock’ and these specimens can all be seen in the garden too.
There are 35 acres of interconnected gardens, and the New Zealand Garden makes up one of these so there is a lot to see and do if you make the effort to visit.
To learn more about New Zealand native plants you can visit here. Maybe you can try and identify some common plants during your visit to the New Zealand gardens. Once you see typical native New Zealand plants you will start seeing them around London. The obvious one is the Cabbage Tree, one of the most widely cultivated New Zealand natives. In the UK they call them ‘Yucca’.
How to find the New Zealand Gardens:
- Sat nav postcode – TW20 0UJ. The car park entrance is on Wick Lane.
- Follow brown tourist road signs showing ‘The Royal Landscape’, ‘The Savill Garden’ or a flower symbol.
- Approx. 4 miles/15 mins drive from Windsor town centre by road.
- Accessible from J13 of M25 via the A30 and J6 of the M4 via the A308 towards Windsor.
- Closest petrol stations can be found on Straight Road in Old Windsor, or opposite Virginia Water car park on the A30.
Summer – 10am to 6pm daily. Last admission at 5pm.
Winter – 10am to 4.30pm daily. Last admission at 3.30pm.