Bannerman Park was named in 1977 in honour of Mr R B Bannerman, whose foresight helped procure extra land for the park. Known as the Hidden Valley, the land was set aside in the 1870s but was full of gorse and broom until the 1960s when grass was sown, springs were drained, and there were extensive plantings of rhododendrons, conifers and silver birches - all to create a deer park.
The creek beds were developed 20 years later with bog plants, and since then herbaceous perennials have been extensively planted. Today streams meander throughout the valley bordered by sealed pathways.
Early spring is announced by 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. In November the streams and ponds are lush with gunneras, hostas, irises and candelabra primulas. Native ferns, astelias and Chatham Island forget-me-nots also edge 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.
A recent addition is the 'daffodil paddock' where specimen Decidious trees are underplanted with donated daffodils, which are able to be picked by the public in spring. The first tree to be planted here in 2009 is a Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula' (weeping ash), which commemorates the life of Irene McGregor. She was patron of the Gore Garden Club whose members annually donate trees and bulbs to this area.
Below this area is a rhodoendron dell, planted with species of Rhododendron and Acers. In addition there are three specimen Magnolia Campbellii donated by Soroptimist International of Gore. The spring time display of candelabra primulas at Bannerman Park is probably the best in the country.
Most of the plants in the park are named, which adds to the intrigue when exploring.
- Natural Attraction
- Free Things to Do
- Outdoor Activities
- Family Friendly
- Wildlife Park
- Scenic Attraction