Rotunda is a community-led centre for formal and informal learning for all ages. The new Garden has been designed by BCA Landscape Architects to further the objectives of the Rotunda. A grant awarded by Biffa Award and managed by the Mersey Forest team was key to transforming the formerly derelict site.
Sponsorship also came from perfumer Jo Malone London. The company has sponsored four gardens around the world – London, Edinburgh, New York and now Liverpool.
The garden provides opportunities for training and qualifications for garden volunteers; improving community links; enabling wheelchair-friendly access; incorporating a kitchen garden to link with the college's cafe; whilst promoting the concept of growing and eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
Designed in the style of a traditional English Country Garden, the garden has four main areas:
The Banqueting Area: including chunky Harvest table and benches with overhead solar lights.
The Theatre Garden Area: a circular lawned area with curved benches, that is used for performances.
The Kitchen Garden: where everything from pears and cherries, tomatoes and peas to basil and mint are grown and harvested for home or the Rotunda cafe.
The Secret Garden: Mossy lawns, winding paths, densely planted trees, a willow tunnel, magical story corner, fairy rings and mini doors on trees all contribute to make this area a great place to explore, imagine and learn for children of all ages.
The garden is also proving a success in attracting wildlife to this densely urban part of the city, providing a haven of greenery amongst the tarmac and concrete.