The Garden Party comes to life

The Mansfield Garden, which opened in November, is the latest addition to the series of popular fantasy-themed gardens at Hamilton Gardens.

The new ‘Mansfield Garden’ is the latest addition to a series of popular fantasy-themed gardens at Hamilton Gardens.

Inspired by the early 20th-century New Zealand garden described in writer Katherine Mansfield’s celebrated short story The Garden Party, it features elements common in New Zealand gardens at the time and includes the façade of an Edwardian period house representing the Mansfield family home in Wellington.

Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand-born author recognised internationally as one of the foremost pioneers in modern literature. The Garden Party is one of her best-known works. First published in 1922, it was apparently inspired by an event that took place in 1907 in a Wellington garden, which was then a few years old.

Garden design detail recalls the style and architecture appropriate to the Edwardian period in New Zealand. Some elements are directly inspired by the original story, including a marquee set for a party, a tennis court, and a small band. Under the marquee, delicate treats and beverages crafted from resin and concrete have been laid out ahead of the party. There is also an Edwardian era Ford Model T.

Architectural details such as the bench seats and pergola also match the period. The chosen façade resembles the home of the author’s parents in Tinakori Road, Wellington.

Source: Tourism New Zealand

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