These gardens have a heritage that goes back beyond Sir Joseph Paxton who was responsible for the Italian staircase, gardens and terraces close to the Spa in the 1850′s.
The layout of the paths appears in an artist’s drawing of the plans by the architects Verity and Hunt in 1880. George Lord Beeforth created other large areas including extensive rose gardens in 1885; at a similar time William Skipsey began the landscaping of the Holbeck Gardens.
Yet it is the deep understanding of the area by Harry W Smith that gave rise to the gardens we see today. A brilliant design, bringing together old and new areas and seamlessly linking different skills and uses so effortlessly together. Three rules were applied to these gardens for this final design. For the long-term preservation of the Esplanade it was essential to stabilize the cliffs, yet equally every part must still give pleasure to the visitor, and finally to allow the undercliffs to contain attractive gardens, the plants must survive the salt laden winds.
Information via friendsofsouthcliffgardens.com