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Outdoor garden areas opening Friday June 5. See announcement for details and FAQ.

Hendrie Park

Our largest cultivated garden area, Hendrie Park has something for everyone. This garden truly illustrates the diversity of both plants and garden design.

Key Attractions

Garden Facts

Visiting Hendrie Park

  • General Admission or Membership Applies
  • 680 Plains Road W. Burlington ON, L7T 4H4
  • Parking is available across the street at 680 Plains Road W. Please enter through the main doors of RBG Centre, where a tunnel is available under Plains Road to Hendrie Park.

Today’s Hours

Seasonal Hours

  • CLOSED due to COVID-19 (May 9 to Jun 4)
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Jun 5 to Dec 31)

Exceptions

  • Dec 24 Christmas Eve: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Dec 25 Christmas Day: Closed
  • Dec 26 Boxing Day: Closed
  • Dec 31 New Year's Eve: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Jan 1 New Year's Day: Closed

Collections & Areas of Interest

Rose Garden

Peak Interest: June to October

The new Rose Garden features a spectacular display of roses and companion plants intended to extend seasonal interest and keep diseases at bay. Our focus is on disease resistant, disease-tolerant and cold-hardy roses, including Canadian introductions. We’re excited to present an innovative, sustainable and inspiring experience, the quintessential rose garden for Canada’s largest botanical garden.

Morrison Woodland Garden

Peak interest: all year

Life on the forest floor is a challenge. Intense spring sun is followed by deep summer shade. Around the temperate world, Europe, Japan, and here in southern Ontario, plants adapt in similar ways. Many forest species compress their peak growth and bloom into the short period after spring thaw and before tree leaves block the sun. Later, only shade-tolerant plants (those that can photosynthesize in low light) will thrive.

Never take your native woodlanders for granted. Plants such as Trillium are highly desirable and sought- after plants in places beyond Canada. Sometimes plants such as these become so coveted that plant collectors take them from wild, seriously reducing and threatening native plant populations. Knowing the origin of the plants you buy for your garden is very important.

To extend the seasonal interest of this garden, other shade-tolerant plants from the world’s temperate forests are included to display the diversity of plants adapted to shade conditions.

A memorial donation by the family of Hamilton physician and surgeon Dr. Roy Edward Morrison assists in the development and maintenance of this garden.

Helen M. Kippax Garden

Peak interest: all year

Bounded on three sides by the natural lands of the Grindstone Creek Valley, this garden features native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses along with their cultivars to add extra colour. Over 135 native species are displayed in plant community zones that represent several local habitats including prairie, oak savannah, Carolinian forest and wetland pond.

The Helen M. Kippax Wild Plant Garden was opened in 2008 thanks to the generosity of Mary Stedman and her late sisters Margaret and Ruth to celebrate their aunt, Helen M. Kippax, one of the founding members of the Canadian Society for Landscape Architecture. The garden was designed to display how native plants bring beauty, ecological function, biodiversity and sustainability to gardens. In the context of this garden, Royal Botanical Gardens defines a native species as one that was present in Ontario prior to the arrival of European colonists in the 18th century.

The garden was originally designed by Martin Wade Landscape Architects in consultation with native plant gardening advocate and author, Lorraine Johnson.

Lily Walk

Peak interest: June to August

The lily display integrates the collection with a display of popular perennials, giving this garden area season long interest. The collection is laid out to reflect the diversity and divisions of the Lilium genus in accordance with the Royal Horticultural Society in the U.K. Within each division you will discover how the efforts of plant breeders have resulted in various breeding trends, improving the resilience and vigor of garden lilies.

Veggie Village

Peak interest: June to October

Veggie Village is a display garden showcasing the many ways in which you can grow vegetables at home. The garden consists of nine vegetable demonstration plots as well as an interpretive zone where visitors can learn why and how we should all be eating and growing our own local produce.

Hendrie Gates

Peak interest: all year

Surrounding the South end of Scented Garden, the Hendrie Park Gates were constructed in recognition of the Hendrie family, who previously owned the lands on which the garden now sits. The gates are a favourite of visitors looking for an iconic spot for a photo op.

Scented Garden

Peak interest: April to October

An avenue of Chinese Flowering Dogwood (Cornus kousa) leads you to the Scented Garden, with its traditional stone walls, gravel paths, boxwood edging, and cooling central fountain.

Plant scents can be penetrating or elusive and subtle but touch our lives in many ways. They not only arouse our memory—lilacs are the essence of spring, and fresh-mown hay means the height of summer—but we have long used plants to add fragrance to ourselves and our homes.

Scented plants are often used commercially in the production of perfumes and fragrances. The fragrance produced by some plants is extremely complex. Take lilacs for example. The fragrance is made up of 185 different compounds. As a result, essential oils from lilac flowers are too intricate to reproduce so lilac perfume in cosmetics is derived from extracts of non-related flowers.

The scents and fragrances produced by plants aren’t just for our pleasure alone. Some plants rely on wind or gravity for pollination, but many rely on scent. The fragrance of the flower alerts pollinators such as insects, bats and hummingbirds that the plant is ready to be pollinated. When the animals arrive to collect pollen or nectar the pollen gets transferred. As a result, plants and pollinators often display a long history of mutual evolution.

The Scented Garden explores the range of scents through annuals, perennials and shrubs that produce scented flowers as well as scented, “scratch and sniff” leaves.

Canadian Introduced Trees

Peak interest: all year

This Gardens collection showcases many varieties of cultivated plants created by Canadian plant breeders. This collection contains cultivars of ornamental trees developed in Canada. Of special interest are several varieties of American Elm (Ulmus americana), which are resistant to Dutch elm disease.

Global Garden

Peak interest: Summer

Each region of the world has useful plants deeply rooted in its culture. Plants native to the Pan American region sustained cultures and civilizations for millennia, but after colonization, many were introduced to Europe. As they were assimilated into the Old World, these plants changed cultures and economies, and drove the first wave of globalization. This garden compares and contrasts the useful plants of the Old and New Worlds, reinforcing the message that our lives depend upon a whole world of plants.

White Garden

Peak interest: summer to early fall

The White Garden celebrates plants…in monochrome! This garden features plants with white flowers, berries, foliage or bark. The central grass area provides a tranquil venue for relaxing, enjoying the beauty around you and if you time it right, listening to live music in the garden.

Trials Garden

Each summer we partner with University of Guelph to trial (“try out”) new cultivated varieties of annuals. The Plant Agriculture Department receives seed from plant breeders and produces seedlings which are distributed to several sites across southern Ontario. These are planted and as they grow and are evaluated to see how they perform in our climate and soils.

Medieval Garden

Peak interest: April to October

This garden features plants of ethnobotanical value used in medieval times for medicinal, culinary, aromatic and dye purposes. These plants predate the many modern synthetic products we use today and were essential to survival in medieval times. The medieval garden is truly a garden of sustainability and human resilience.

This garden features an analemmatic sundial (the visitor becomes the gnomon and casts the shadow).

The sundial was designed and built with assistance of Dr. Paul Lapp.

Medicinal Garden

Peak interest: April to October

Each bed in this garden focuses on a part of the human body, with plants arranged by the disease they treat. Interpretive materials examine not only the plants and the medicines they yield, but also the health implications of the loss of wild plant species and habitat. Visitors can compare medicinal herbs from various cultures and see the sources of both ancient traditional medicines and the compounds used in current medical research.

The Medicinal Garden is supported by Ontario 2000 and the Department of Canadian Heritage—Museums Assistance Program.

Prehistoric Grove

Go back in time with this planting of living fossils. This grove features plants that were once thought to be extinct but have since been re-discovered and brought into cultivation. This planting showcases Metasequoia (Dawn Redwood), Ginkgo (Ginkgo) and Sciadopitys (Japanese Umbrella-pine) species and their cultivars.

Turner Pavilion Teahouse

Open seasonally

Surrounded by the ever-changing blooms of Hendrie Park, the teahouse offers the ideal spot to relax in nature’s tranquility while enjoying a light snack and a cup of soothing tea.

Learn More
Jardín by Lisbet Fernandez Ramos

Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection

In 2013 Dan Lawrie, Hamilton businessman and Burlington resident, made a 10-year commitment to donating sculpture to Royal Botanical Gardens which has created The International Sculpture Collection.

Through Dan’s generosity, this permanent collection grows in Hendrie Park each year, with the addition of new works from around the world.

Learn More

What’s in Bloom & Plants of Interest in Hendrie Park

  • Bethleham Lungwort In Bloom
  • Hendrie Park Oak Alee Spring Tulips
  • Hendrie Park Magnolia In Global Garden
  • Pink Flowering Dogwood Bloom
  • Hendrie Park Woodland Boardwalk In May

March

  • Spring Ephemerals

April

  • Redbud
  • Magnolia*
  • Spring Ephemerals

May

  • Redbud*
  • Magnolia*
  • Dogwood
  • Spring Ephemerals
  • Coral Bells
  • Hydrangea
  • Sunflower Family

Bloom times can vary from year to year as they are influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

*These plants have short bloom times and are very weather dependant. Check our social media feeds closer to bloom time for updates.

  • Red Canadian Shield Rose Vineland 49th Parallel Collection
  • Multicoloured Sunflower Bloom
  • Painted Lady Butterfly On Pink Coneflower
  • Pink Waterlilies In Reflecting Pond
  • Kholrabi In Veggie Village

June

  • Dogwood
  • Coral Bells
  • Hydrangea
  • Rose
  • Sunflower Family
  • Veggie Village
  • Coral Bells
  • Annuals

July

  • Rose (peak)
  • Lily
  • Coneflower
  • Water Lilies
  • Hydrangea
  • Sunflower Family
  • Veggie Village
  • Lotus
  • Coral Bells
  • Rose Garden Companion Plants
  • Annuals

August

  • Rose
  • Coneflower
  • Sunflower Family
  • Water Lilies
  • Veggie Village
  • Lotus
  • Hydrangea
  • Coral Bells
  • Rose Garden Companion Plants
  • Annuals

Bloom times can vary from year to year as they are influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

*These plants have short bloom times and are very weather dependant. Check our social media feeds closer to bloom time for updates.

  • Purple Anise Hyssop Blooms
  • Floribunda Rose In Fall
  • Rose Garden In Fall
  • Striped Squash In Garden Under Leaves
  • Monarch On Purple Verbana Bloom

September

  • Sunflower Family
  • Veggie Village
  • Coneflower
  • Coral Bells
  • Hydrangea
  • Rose Garden Companion Plants
  • Pre-Historic Grove

October

  • Fall Colours
  • Sunflower Family
  • Coral Bells
  • Veggie Village
  • Rose Garden Companion Plants
  • Pre-Historic Grove

November

  • Fall Colours
  • Sunflower Family
  • Rose Garden Companion Plants
  • Heritage Trees

Bloom times can vary from year to year as they are influenced by many natural events including temperature and climate. As Please bear in mind that if we experience an early or late spring, bloom times could shift up to 10 days earlier or 10 days later.

*These plants have short bloom times and are very weather dependant. Check our social media feeds closer to bloom time for updates.

  • Red Berries From Winterberry
  • Dried Pink Rose With Snowy Background
  • Rose Hips In Winter Rose Garden
  • Blue Buds On B Ranch In Winter
  • Dried Native Plants In Winter

December

  • Heritage Trees
  • Winter Interest Plants
  • Fruit-Producing Shrubs

January

  • Heritage Trees
  • Winter Interest Plants
  • Fruit-Producing Shrubs

February

  • Heritage Trees
  • Winter Interest Plants
  • Fruit-Producing Shrubs

History of Hendrie Park

In 1931, a 122-acre (49 ha) parcel of the Hendrie Valley Farm was given to the City of Hamilton by George M. Hendrie. George Hendrie donated property to the Hamilton Parks Board in memory of William and his brothers; ten years later it became part of the newly formed RBG. The Hendrie family were founders of the Ontario Jockey Club and made their wealth in railway development. Their horse farm occupied the uplands around Hendrie Valley.

Garden FAQ

Directions / Parking

Please enter through the main doors of RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W. Burlington ON), where a tunnel is available under Plains Road to Hendrie Park.

Parking is available across the street at RBG Centre. Parking at this location is included in your General Admission, or with a valid Membership parking pass.

A parking lot does exist by the Cherry Hill Trailhead (beside Hendrie Park), though access to Hendrie Park from this lot is typically not available.

Admission

Access to Hendrie Park during regular operating hours is included in your General Admission (payable when you arrive at RBG Centre) or with your Membership.

General Admission also includes access to all other garden areas for the day, and a parking pass to be used at RBG trailheads.

Special events at this location may require separate tickets. Find specific event details at rbg.ca/events

Hours

Hendrie Park is open to visitors year-round.

2020 Hours:

  • January 1 to May 9: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • May 9 to September 7: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • September 8 to December 31: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Some holiday hours may apply. See rbg.ca/visit us for details.

How Far is Hendrie Park from RBG’s Other Garden Areas?

  • Hendrie Park to Laking Garden: 1 km / 0.6 miles
  • Hendrie Park to Rock Garden: 1.6 km / 1 mile
  • Hendrie Park to the Arboretum: 3.3 km / 2 miles (walking not recommended. Old Guelph Road does not include sidewalks)

Walking from garden to garden is possible, but please be aware that our property is spread out over 1,100 hectares of gardens and nature sanctuaries. Please consider driving or biking between locations, or using the shuttle service when available (weekends, spring to mid-summer).

Are there Washroom Facilities Available?

Small washrooms are available just outside the Turner Pavilion Teahouse, and in RBG Centre on the lowest floor of the Atrium (at the base of the stairs, before you go through the tunnel into Hendrie Park.

Food and Drink / Picnics

The Turner Pavilion Teahouse is open seasonally, providing a take-away menu of drinks and light snacks to enjoy inside the teahouse, or on the new patio. See rbg.ca/teahouse for menu and hours.

The Greenhouse Café at RBG Centre is a short walk and is open for lunch daily. Menu and more at rbg.ca/greenhousecafe.

Outside food is permitted at the gardens during regular hours (restrictions apply during Garden Music Nights and other special events). Please pack-out or properly dispose of any waste. Outdoor cooking is not permitted in any of RBG’s garden areas.

Hendrie Park does not have any picnic tables. Enjoy your meal on one of the garden’s many benches or bring your own blanket for a picnic!

Is the Garden Accessible?

All garden paths indicated on the garden map are either paved, or made of finely packed gravel, suitable for wheelchairs and walkers meant for outdoor use. Areas with stairs can be accessed by travelling around that garden area to where sloped paths are available.

Can I Bring My Dog?

Leashed dogs are permitted in Hendrie Park for a visit during regular operating hours. Please be responsible and clean up after your dog.

Although dogs are not permitted in RBG Centre (with the exception of working animals), dogs are permitted to enter RBG Centre for the purpose of entering Hendrie Park.

Some special events at this location may not accommodate dogs. These are noted in the individual event FAQ’s available on the event pages.

  • Hendrie Park Trials Garden
  • Hendrie Park Veggie Village
  • Rose Garden In Fall
  • Hendrie Park Oak Alee Spring Tulips
  • Hendrie Park Global Garden In Bloom