Inspired by the early 20th century New Zealand garden described in Katherine Mansfield’s short story ‘The Garden Party’, the garden showcases common elements common in New Zealand gardens at the time.
The Mansfield House’s façade was chosen appropriate to this period and is similar to her parent’s house in Tinakori Road, Wellington. This was sponsored by local firm Foster Construction.
There are other particular ‘Garden Party’ touches such as the marquee that workmen have set up against the karaka hedge on the tennis court, and the “very small band” in another corner of the court.
Under the marquee, delicate treats and beverages crafted from resin and concrete have been laid out ahead of the party. Only during the opening will visitors be able to inspect the sandwiches, ‘Godber’s famous cream puffs’ and cakes up close.
In the 1900s New Zealand experienced a decade of exciting new inventions. The radio and telephone became mainstream, as did the motor car. Owning a car meant you had “arrived”. Beside the house façade we have installed an Edwardian era Ford Model T. This was a community project facilitated by the Waikato Veteran & Vintage Car Club Inc and the Friends of Hamilton Gardens and convened by Reece Burnett. More than 30 individuals and Waikato companies were involved in providing time, expertise, materials and funding for its construction.
“We are expecting significant crowds for the opening on Monday and following weekend,” says Hamilton Gardens Business Development Manager Tamsin Webb. “There is a possibility that we’ll be implementing a one-in-one-out system into the Mansfield Garden during these times. Additionally, we will have traffic control in place during peak times although we highly recommend visitors walk or cycle to the Gardens and use the Sillary Street underpass.”. Car parking for the event will be available through Gates 1 and 2.