Hendrie Park

680 Plains Rd W, Burlington, ON L7T 4H4

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

The Centennial Rose Garden is currently under construction for a rejuvenation project, re-opening summer of 2018. Hendrie Park remains open for visitors during this time.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Parking: 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.

Construction Notice:
RBG Centre Parking Lot. Royal Botanical Gardens has commenced construction at its RBG Centre parking lot to facilitate the addition of 60 parking spaces. The majority of the lot will remain open during this time. RBG Centre will maintain regular hours of operation during this time.


Collections and Areas of Interest

digital rendering of new rose garden

Rose Garden

Peak Interest: June to October

Our Centennial Rose Garden is currently undergoing a rejuvenation project, opening summer of 2018.

The new Rose Garden plan 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

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forested boardwalk

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.

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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 sought after that plant collectors take plants from the wild and this can seriously reduce and threaten native plant populations. Knowing the provenance 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.

colourful pollinator garden

Helen M. Kippax Garden

Peak interest: all year

Bounded on three sides by the natural lands of the Grindstone Creek Valley, the 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.

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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.

butterfly on a lily

Lily Collection

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.

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vegetable garden

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.

hop-like structures in red gloved hand

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.

 

gardens surrounding fountain

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.

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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 and so lilac perfume in cosmetics is actually 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 the use of annuals, perennials and shrubs that produce scented flowers as well as scented, "scratch and sniff" leaves.

small pink flowers on a tree branch

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

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.

The Global Garden has been developed with the support of the Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport.

hop-like structures in red gloved hand

Imagination Grove

Peak interest: all year

A family friendly garden, the imagination grove has activities for children and parents alike to reconnect with nature and learn respect for cultivated garden spaces. Play a round of hopscotch, find fairies in the maze, measure your height against a leaf or just relax and read a story under the broad canopy of the Linden tree.

 

White Garden

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.

long, simple garden bed

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, they 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.

hedge-enclosed garden with bench

Medicinal Garden

Peak interest: April to October

Each bed in this garden focuses on a particular 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.

 

very tall tree

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.

outdoor tent set up for wedding ceremony

Cherry Hill Tent

Located just inside Hendrie Park gates and adorned by mature trees, manicured shrubs and plants, Cherry Hill tent is the perfect size for the smaller, intimate wedding ceremony.

 

wedding ceremony in outdoor tent

Rose Garden Tent

Positoned between breathtaking gardens, tiered fountains and a majestic stone and cast iron gate, the Rose Garden Tent is the perfect spot for your dream wedding ceremony, surrounded by the beauty of our rejuvenated Rose Garden. The tent is also the home of our summer music series.

seed catalogue images on the walls of a tunnel

Hendrie Park Tunnel

Enter into Hendrie Park from RBG Centre through a tunnel that runs under Plains Road W. In 2017, artwork was added to the tunnel walls depicting scenes from RBG's collection of seed catalogues.


Hendrie Family standing at Hendrie Gates with plaque

History of Hendrie Park

1931 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 Hamilton Parks Board in memory of William and his brothers; ten years later it became part of 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.


  

exterior of teahouse

Turner Pavilion Teahouse

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

 

Tall strain-glass looking sculpture of a flower outdoors in Hendrie Park

Art in the Gardens

Hendrie Park is home to the Dan Lawrie International Sculpture Collection, a series of art installations scattered throughout the garden, donated by Hamilton businessman and Burlington resident Dan Lawrie. Learn More

 

aerial view of boardwalks and trails

Hendrie Valley Trails

This 100-hectare sanctuary is centred on the Grindstone Creek Valley. The area features forested slopes with towering trees, a 60-hectare river-mouth marsh complex and four creeks. Learn More