It was with some surprise, when I opened my November issue of Gardens Illustrated, to find the drought garden on Worthing Seafront was featured. The article entitled “Garden of the Year 2011” was about four professional garden-lovers who met at the Garden Museum in London to celebrate the garden they visited this year and found most inspiring. The garden in Worthing was selected by Anne Jennings, a garden writer, and her reasons for choosing this particular garden were interesting: “A garden should form a lasting impression and provide significant landscape for others to enjoy.”
The drought garden I know well but many don’t so I thought I would tell you a little more about it. In the article it was referred to as Worthing Sea Front Planting Schemes, its proper name is The Waterwise Garden and was a joint venture with Worthing Borough Council and Southern Water. I have included a link at the bottom of this post, which also gives a list of drought resistant plants used in the garden. When it first appeared, I think a lot of people, including me, were slightly puzzled as to what the weirdly shaped wooden posts were all about. These have weathered well and now seem part of the landscape, and is certainly enjoyed by a lot of people, particularly today. It has been a beautiful but windy day and I took my camera down to the seafront with the intention of taking photos of the garden to run alongside with this blog post.
I take my Mum down there because the decking, over the pebbles, leads to a platform and it means I can take the wheelchair further down towards the water’s edge. It’s even better when the tide is in, because she can feel the spray on her face. She loves just listening to the sea, so is happy to sit there for ages.
This is where I divert from writing solely about the Waterwise Garden. Last night, like a lot of the UK, we were hit by strong winds. Frequently following nights such as that, we have wonderful rough tides, along with copious amounts of seaweed unfortunately. I was lucky because today was one of those tides and the waves were wonderful, crashing down on the shingle, making a loud shushing noise as it retreats, ready for the next onslaught.
I love rough seas, and when the sun is shining too, it becomes all the more attractive. After taking a number of photos of the garden, I turned my attention to the sea. These are just a few of the photos I took and I wish that I could include sound to go with them, but I am afraid you will just have to use your imagination.
Although I knew all about the garden, there were two things I read about in the magazine that I will investigate further:-
(1) The Garden Museum : Until now I had not heard of the Museum which opened in November 1980. It looks fascinating and is near the Tate Britain so it will certainly be a place to visit when I next travel up to London; and
(2) Anne Jennings is an author who has written a number of historical books about the evolution of gardens, which include “Medieval Gardens” and “Victorian Gardens”, the latter I have flagged up as a book to read.
Why “One thing does lead to another”? If I hadn’t read Gardens Illustrated this week, I would not have gone to the Waterwise Garden with my camera and I would not have taken these photos of the sea. I hope you enjoy looking at them.