46-09 - Palmer Gardens - Naming and history

Palmer Gardens is also known as Pangki Pangki or Park 28. It’s named after South Australian Colonisation Commissioner Colonel George Palmer, who was born in 1799 and who died in 1883. The Mid-Murray town of Palmer, just east of the Adelaide Hills region, is also named after the Colonel.

Pangki Pangki was a Kaurna tracker and guide. Pangki Pangki accompanied early officials Moorhouse and Tollmer up the Murray River to Lake Bonney and the Rufus River.

Palmer Gardens historically has been managed and planted in close parallel with Brougham Gardens – both gardens in the style of the Victorian era, although many of the trees were planted during the first decades of the 20th century, just after the time of Queen Victoria.

The road that surrounds Palmer Gardens on all three sides is named Palmer Place.

The layout and area of Palmer Gardens – a triangle of one-point-eight hectares is exactly as it was devised in 1837 by Colonel William Light.

The dominant feature is the two diagonal crossing pathways. They have existed since the 1860’s.

In the first decades of European settlement Palmer Gardens suffered a fate similar to that of the rest of the Adelaide Park Lands. The trees were felled for firewood and building. The Park was used for grazing stock. Tree plantings commenced in the 1870s when it began to be altered into a semi-formal garden, and this is how it remains.

From this entry point, walk along the path – past jacaranda trees on both sides of the path, until you reach a central path intersection.

There, turn left to find a park bench with a curious plaque attached.

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