Garden success after a ‘prickly’ overhaul project

Renovation Work on the Rose Garden on Esplanade Scarborough.'PA1510-9a
Renovation Work on the Rose Garden on Esplanade Scarborough.'PA1510-9a

The end is in sight for a long-running project to renovate the historic rose garden in South Cliff Gardens.

The project, which began around a year ago, has taken much longer than expected due to problems with the drainage system.

However, things are now looking up with 19 of the 32 beds already planted and drainage work due to be completed this week.

The project has been a joint initiative between Scarborough Council and the Friends of South Cliff Gardens.

Adrian Perry from the Friends group said: “The drainage work is being finished off and we’re hoping to get all the roses planted by next week.

“We chose a local supplier - Roger’s Roses in Pickering - as we wanted them to be fresh and of the best quality.

“It’s looking fantastic and we can’t wait to see the end result.”

Mr Perry said it had been a long and difficult process, with the rose bushes originally due to be planted last year.

He explained: “It was very disappointing. We tried to replicate the old drainage system and it just didn’t work.

“When we realised it wasn’t working, rather than plant the roses and let them become waterlogged, we wanted to fix the problem and be absolutely safe.”

The new “herringbone” system is now in place and each bed has its own drainage.

Mr Perry explained that the overhaul had to take place because the plants were suffering from a disease called “rose sickness”.

He said: “The floral displays were not what they should have been because of the disease, so all the soil had to be replaced.

“It was a huge project, but we’ve had a tremendous amount of support from Scarborough Council.

“The gardeners have really stood up to the challenge.

“Come June everyone will be able to come down and see some beautiful blooms.”

A Scarborough Council spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the completion of the project has been delayed due to problems with drainage of the new beds.

“These problems are now being addressed.

“The subsoil beneath the rose garden is solid clay so all ground water has to be collected in French drains and piped away into the surface water drainage system.

“We are providing additional land drains and lightening the soil, which was heavily compacted during handling, by adding gravel and sharp sand to improve the drainage of the beds.

“The work is taking a few weeks to complete and we ask members of the public to bear with us during this time.

“Our aim is to plant roses in the beds before the end of March, weather permitting.”