friends of birkenhead park
That which is good should be preserved
Greenhouses and flowers
With Joseph Paxton’s development of greenhouses and large sheet glass it is only fitting that Birkenhead Park should have reflected this interest in the Park itself.
Originally the Park comprised prestige buildings, an extensive variety of trees, imaginative landscaping, lakes and extensive flat open spaces. In 1921 a new initiative was made with the construction of the of the Palm House - a glasshouse in Upper Park - which had a full sized palm tree at its centre, statues and exotic species of plants for the public to view. It lasted until about 1950 when it was replaced by a conservatory, with a collection of giant cacti at its centre and less exotic but more colourful flowering plants as its attraction. In the 1950's another imaginative attempt was made to add colour to the Park with the introduction of a “Blind Garden” in the site of Paxton’s 3rd Lake. The area had never functioned well as a lake, as the water tended to drain out of it, but it worked well as a sunken garden with a cherry tree and plants and whose flowers were well perfumed to appeal to the senses of blind people. There was a sinuous circular path to walk on with a rail that would help the disabled to find their way round it. These features are now regrettably lost but it is hoped that the gardens round the Visitor Centre will go some way to restoring a colourful flowering area in the Park.