There are many different gardens hidden away in Battersea Park, each with it’s own particular history. The recently developed Winter Garden has a wide variety of trees, shrubs and perennials, the Old English Garden tucked away by the cricket pavilion, the charming Rose Garden, the restored Russell Page Garden and the Sub-Tropical Garden. The Park has over 4,000 trees, many of which date back to the original layout in 1858 – Tom Maxwell has created an informative guide to the trees. It is a lovely place for an afternoon roam away from the city bustle, and there is much to discover.
The landscape designer Russell Page’s original Festival Gardens were designed for the 1951 Festival of Britain. A green lawn and colourful flower beds were surrounded by a children’s zoo, model railway and a funfair. Twenty thousand yellow tulips along with raised beds of crimson and pink floribunda roses were planted and regularly changed from spring bulbs to summer bedding. The Festival Gardens were restored in 2004.
The Sub-Tropical Garden was originally created by John Gibson in 1863 and were the first of this kind in the country. Gibson had been sent to India by the Duke of Devonshire to hunt for orchids and his journey took him via Madeira and South Africa. Using the plants he brought back from this trip, he created a unique garden at Battersea, made up of exotic plants and colourful ‘carpet’ bedding. During World War II much of the park became allotments to help feed local people, however in 1992 a palm tree was once again planted in this area, and they were restored to the original plans in 1992.
Photography: Rhiannon Ryder
Photographed at Battersea Park, London.