The Twenty SS20 Issue

BLOOM: City Gardens

By Shannon Brien

Now that summer has finally arrived (touch wood), we can get outside and enjoy the lush green parks.

The London Borough of Kensington has no shortage of beautiful gardens, but high above Kensington High Street lies the eclectic Roof Gardens originally built in 1930. This venue is where Roy Orbison filmed the original video for his classic hit ‘Pretty Woman’ in the gardens in 1964,and by 1981, it was a well known Kensington night club called Regine.

When a young scruffy looking Richard Branson was turned away from the club, he met with the owner who confessed that the club wasn’t doing well. He then bought the venue and re-launched it as ‘The Roof Gardens’ which are a mixture of Tudor, Spanish and English Woodlands gardens that make it the perfect venue for any event, dinner or disco; especially in summer.

From the High Street of Kensington to the Kirkdale Country Garden, an inner city oasis in Liverpool. This community project is one of five charity gardens supported by the sale of Jo Malone Limited Edition Charity Candles. Kirkdale Country Garden commemorates a shared vision between key businesses and influential figures in the area whilst celebrating a partnership between Jo Malone and Rotunda, an organisation providing a range of formal and informal learning opportunities to the people of North Liverpool.

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The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, believes that the garden is evidence of what is achievable when people share a vision and work cohesively, adding that “the garden has grown into a centrepiece for the community and provides an environment of wellbeing and community pride.”

It does seem like a place the community will definitely be proud of with impressive banqueting areas, ample space for pop-up outdoor theatres and events as well as a hidden garden. “We’re setting the standard for the future area; challenging stereotypes and encouraging growth for our community” says Maxine Ennis, CEO of Rotunda. The organisation has been instrumental in helping the youth of Liverpool find their path through alternative education and Ennis feels that this garden be a continuation of that as well as offering new pathways and courses in horticulture.

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Summer is the time to be outdoors in beautiful gardens soaking up the rays and the UK is in no shortage of spectacular greenery. There is a garden for any for any particular occasion; cultivating herbs or enjoying outdoor barbeques in a place like Kirkdale Country Garden. Or, if you prefer to unwind with cocktail in hand while a DJ spins beats and watch the sun set over bustling London, then a place like ‘Roof Gardens’ is for you.