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Old 29-09-2002, 12:22 AM
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Default Sunderland Winter Gardens

No real point to this except to give some kudos to a council

There were Winter gardens in Sunderland on the back of the glorious
Library until they were badly damaged in WW2 and had to be pulled down.

A couple of years back during one of the phases of renovating the town
centre to get rid of the 60's concrete look and to enhace the place in
general, they decided to make the park into something of a useable place
instead of a place to be afraid of.

A circular (and somewhat smaller) tropical house has been built off to
one side of where the original was placed. We were visiting Sunderland
today (my mother will be caring for the cats while we have a holiday)
and as it'd been a couple of years since we'd seen the town centre we
went to investigate.

Driving past Mowbray park was an "oh my God" moment as it is bursting
with colour and is only just starting to go over. Upon seeing the large
glasshouse we had to stop and go for a look in. I was suitably impressed
and annoyed (constant tapes of tropical birds). Not on the scale of
anything like a certain Cornish site, but still in such an urban place
to produce something with no commercial value and hosting some lovely
specimens is an incredible site. In a few more years when the specimens
get their feet I expect it'll be a real treat.

As we arrived with only 5 minutes before closing I have only impressions
(and no photos to put up on the site) of the tropical greens and the
large (they must have paid a fortune for those specimens) plants.

The parks dept there have also been on the caffeine, the beds were
bursting outside in spite of having gone over a touch (hell late
september coastal, of course they're done!). With the general clean up
and the fact that the place is now promininently patrolled by wardens,
the main park in Sunderland appears to have turned into a place to
inspire and to actually take gardeners. I get the feeling that the parks
dept may be a much nicer place to work than it was all those years back
when I was there.


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