The 19th Century English Garden

The Salmon Ponds is a rare example of a 19th century English style public open space, made possible by the generosity of Robert Cartwright Read of Redlands who was willing to lease a portion of his land.

The gardens and surrounds were established with introduced evergreens and exotic plantings by enlightened men interested in gardening and nature. A significant number of the trees at the Salmon Ponds are 140 years old.

The Salmon Ponds site was also one of the earliest uses of grassed areas in garden design and the original Hawthorn hedge still forms the boundary of the ponds and is the backdrop to the river walk.

The flow of water through the Salmon Ponds is a key feature of this garden. In the 1860’s Redlands installed a gravity fed system taking water from the Plenty River to irrigate their hop fields. This water source was shared by the Salmon Ponds and still supplies the water needed by the hatchery, except when water level falls below a critical level, and a backup pump is needed.

At the Northern end of the river walk, the Hawthorn archway was the original entrance to the Salmon Ponds. Until 1941, visitors embarked from the train or other transport at Plenty township and walked along the river bank, past Redlands Estate to enter.

photo courtesy Patrick Tigges