In the early 1970’s the only garden was a semi-circular bed on the southern side of the house and the area enclosed was paved with bricks from the old sugar mill. About this time, the Camellia Society planted a row of camellias in this area. In 1978 a concerted effort was made to plan and develop the gardens as they are today. The early plantings of camellias are now two metres high and flower profusely in season. There followed more plantings of camellias, azaleas, magnolias, flowering fruit trees, bulbs and many other plants and shrubs. The last plantings were the beds on the eastern side of the house.
The arc of scarlet-flowered hibiscus with their interwoven branches that sheltered visitor’s carriages is a link with bygone days. An exquisite 16th century fountain can be found in the Secret Garden, as well as a delightful English lead bird bath near the front door. A second bird bath is sited near the southern entrance to the house and a sundial has been placed within the original hibiscus arc. It has achieved the aim of recapturing the peace and serenity of past eras and the vision of recreating Hope’s beautiful garden.
Ormiston House gardens contain a cross section of japonicas, many sasquanas, some miniatures and reticulatas (eastern side), and two species of Luetchuensis and Franterna (near the southern corner of the house).