Bannerman Park is listed as a Garden of Regional Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.
With gorgeous greenery and foliage all year around, walkways and sealed pathways, it is a wonderful spot to explore.
Spring is the time Bannerman Park really puts on a stunning show. Cherry blossoms in full bloom, golden daffodils popping up at the slightest hint of the new season, magnolias blooming in a range of colours along with the park’s magnificent collection of rhododendrons.
Bannerman Park has a long history that started far from the beautiful space it is today. It was named in 1977 in honour of Mr R B Bannerman, who helped secure additional land for the park. Previously known as Hidden Valley, the land was set aside in the 1870s, but was full of gorse and broom until extensive work in the 1960s. Grass was sewn to create the parkland area, with springs drained and extensive plantings undertaken to create a deer park.
The creek beds were developed 20 years later with plants suitable for the area, with more herbaceous perennials extensively planted throughout the area. Today, streams run through the surrounding valley bordered by sealed pathways – prefect for families and those wanting somewhere scenic to run or walk.
Discover the seasons at Bannerman Park
Early spring brings with it the arrival of the daffodils, meconopsis, camellias, cherry blossom and magnolias. The rhododendron collection includes large beds of R. yunnanense, R. decorum and R. spinuliferum. These were all grown from seed gathered in the wilds of the Yunnan Province, in China.
As summer nears in November the streams and ponds fill with a range of gunneras, hostas, irises and candelabra primulas. Native ferns, astelias and Chatham Island forget-me-nots also dot the streams. Peonies, daylilies and ajuga groundcover add to the colour as summer progresses.
The deciduous foliage provides brilliant autumn colour from the weeping maples to the oaks, twisty willows and silver birches shading the picnic tables. Then winter brings the hellbores into flower.
Pick your own daffodils
In recent years, a ‘daffodil paddock’ where a number of deciduous trees are underplanted with donated daffodils bulbs, creating a sea of golden colour which can be picked by the public throughout Spring.
In 2009 a Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' (weeping ash) was planted to commemorate the life of Irene McGregor. She was patron of the Gore Garden Club whose members annually donate trees and bulbs to this area.
There is also three specimen Magnolia Campbellii, donated by Soroptimist International of Gore.