Display Gardens: Brighton (Preston) Gardens
Started by: Susan Read
A visit mid October to The Rookery and Preston Manor gardensGo to latest contribution by Susan Read, 03 November 2013, 12:31. Go to bottom of this page.
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About 10 days ago I visited the Rookery garden in Brighton. This is a municipal rock garden constructed in 1935 and recently restored with the help of local effort. As a child it inspired me both to garden and to climb mountains!
After a spell of torrential rain the plants were not at their best but the gardens were still attractive. In the thirties material had been brought in from Somerset(Cheddar rock) and laid to form cascades, paths and many steps leading up a hill side.
Sternbergias had survived the weather.
Across the road and to the left is Preston Manor garden
The planting here seems modern (and would please RHS members and probably AGS too!) I seem to recognise Nicandra, Thalictrum and probably Anaphalis.
Finally I must mention the 'Preston Twins' next to the Manor garden...one of them shown. They are said to be the oldest English Elms in Europe (and the World). Named I believe Ulmus procera but a fraction of the height they must have been once.
Fantastic gardens Susan, but my immediate reaction is, what vandalism tearing all that wonderful waterworn Somerset limestone from the cliffs and transporting it all the way to Sussex! OK, it was 80 years ago, and thank goodness no-one would be allowed to create such a sacrilege now!
One hopes no Cheddar Pinks were harmed in the process.
John, I am not sure exactly where or when that rock was quarried. I read (www.bgs.ac.uk) that quarrying in the gorge finished by 1930 though quarrying elsewhere near Cheddar continues up to the present. Limestone cannot have been so highly valued in the 1930's since I understand Kew replaced its limestone with boring Sussex sandstone from 1929. At least the limestone must have felt reasonably at home on Sussex chalk!