Gardening Magazine

The Southport Chronicles 2 - Its Botanic

By Ozhene @papaver
Day two of the great Southport visit arrived.  Yesterday had been sunny and rather nice, today was a bit more overcast but still reasonable weather.  To be honest at the moment any day that doesn't involve rain and/or snow is seen as a good day and this was a good day.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic Last evening involved a nice meal at an Italian restaurant and I have to say that not too much wine was consumed.  It was a fairly low key affair for reasons that will become apparent in the third and final installment of this trilogy.  We then returned to the cheap and not cheerful hotel and started to wonder about the apparent blood stains on the walls and ceiling in our room.
Moving swiftly on, breakfast was good.  We had a few hours to kill and so we set off for the botanic garden.  This was the second setting off for the botanic garden as I had set off to walk there the day before.  I got sort of lost and after an hour of walking my feet were hurting and I gave up.  Today we set off in the car with sat nav, this was a much better idea and we found it quite quickly.
Southport Botanic Gardens are a picture of faded glory that is beautiful but also a little sad in some ways.  The Gardens are quite big, we must have spent over an hour wandering around them.  They also are full of attractions that are largely now closed down by the look of things.
As you walk in you find the aviaries full of interesting birds.  This reminded me of the Arboretum in Nottingham where they used to have similar birds.  They may still have them but it is many years since I have been there.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic I am not a huge fan of birds in cages though so I moved swiftly on.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic There is the boating lake which was beautiful but the buildings were completely derelict.  What a terrible shame.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic There is also the mural by the boating lake.  Now I do like a good mural (or murial as Hilda Ogden would say).
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic I enjoyed looking at the murial until I reached this bit...
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic I am not sure I like the look in the baby's eyes!
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic There is the band stand and there was a bowling green and crazy golf too.  Sadly we could not get into the fernery as apparently it has recently been closed.  The museum is also closed, what a great building and also such a shame.  Local museums are a wonderful thing; they often contain exhibits that might not appear worthy enough for a larger museum but are fascinating and tell you so much about the local area.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic I thought these shadows of previous flower beds rather sad.  Ghosts of their former self.  They did have some flower beds waiting to be planted, so I don't want to give the impression that they had all been grassed over.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic One thing that interested me greatly were these little tunnels in the Gardens.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic They sort of go from here to there for no apparent reason.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic In one there was a bench, now why on earth would anyone want to sit in a tunnel?  This seemed very odd to me.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic Parts of the part were a bit flooded.  This is not a flood its a bridge across one of the lakes and for no good reason it started us off thinking about the Bog of Eternal Stench in Labyrinth.  I assure you there was no smell in the Gardens, it was just it was a bit duck-poo covered and we worried about slipping and falling in the water which thankfully we didn't do.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic This was a bed of lumpy stuff.  I am sure in the summer it will look better but I was a bit amused by the lumpy stuff.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic At the end of the gardens there was this bridge, it felt like a marker of going into another world.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic I loved this, it was a delight to find.  The sort of thing you wished they could have more of.
The Southport Chronicles 2 - its botanic A nice inscription too.
The Botanic Gardens look like they are suffering death by a thousand cuts and it is terribly sad to see this.  Local groups are trying to save it and I hope they succeed.  It is a wonderful park but its glories are fading fast.  If I go back to Southport again I will definitely visit it again.
Anyway, we had to get back into town for the actual reason for the visit to Southport.  Crikey this build up is going to lead to such an anti-climax, what have I led you to expect? ........

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