These pages chart the progress of the project which is currently
A garden with its very own micro-climate has been
re-discovered on Jersey. Having fallen into disrepair, the significance
of the garden had been lost in time. Following the discovery, a group
of experts have come together with the aim of putting the garden back
on the horticultural map, where it hasn't been since the early 1900s.
The garden was unearthed by Cheltenham-based businesswoman, Angie
Petkovic, Managing Director, APT Marketing Solutions, whilst at a
meeting with her hotel client, Chateau La Chaire, Rozel Bay. The garden
is situated within the hotel grounds. Angie says, I knew there
was something special about the garden as soon as I wandered into
it. However, it wasn't until I invited expert Tony Russell to fly
over and look at it that we started to appreciate just how important
Well-known gardening expert Tony Russell adds, This garden has
fantastic potential. If we are given the opportunity to re-create
it, it could be like the Eden Project with the top down. It really
is very exciting.
The original creator of the gardens, Samuel Curtis, was a renowned
Victorian horticulturalist who had toured the British Isles looking
for the perfect micro climate in which to develop a garden. In 1841
he found the ideal environment - a sunny, sheltered, rocky valley
facing the sea in Rozel, Jersey.
Virtually frost-free because of its proximity to the sea and with
a soft purple conglomerate "pudding stone" soil, providing
the perfect growing conditions for sub-tropical plants. The original
garden was terraced and home to an impressive collection of sub-tropical
plants, many of which came from the glasshouses of the Royal Botanic
Gardens at Kew.
By the time of his death in 1860, Samuel Curtis had established one
of the most unique gardens in Britain and in the process pushed the
boundaries of what could be grown in a natural environment further
than anyone before, or since. When German forces occupied the island
during The Second World War, the garden was pillaged of the remaining
Curtis plant collection and taken back to Germany.
Elizabeth Jeffries, Chief Executive, Jersey Tourism adds, Jersey
can honestly celebrate its international reputation for gardens and
its floral excellence. The Samuel Curtis project could move us from
a well known to a celebrity status internationally; it is a fantastically
exciting project in the short, medium and long term.
In October 2002, Angie Petkovic of APT Marketing Solutions commissioned
a feasibility study for the restoration of the gardens at La Chaire,
Rozel Bay, Jersey. The feasibility study was to include an historical
survey, botanical survey and garden restoration plan. The study is
due for completion by the end of spring 2003.
Lead horticultural consultant for the study is Tony Russell of Tony
Russell Associates and the historical survey and restoration plan
is being carried out by Simon Bonvoison of Nicholas Pearson associates.
The objectives of the study are as follows:
£30,000 of the total £60,000 required, has been raised
for the feasibility study. Donations towards the feasibility study
are gratefully received. The outcome of the feasibility study will
be made public.
- To confirm whether the gardens at La Chaire
are of such botanical and historical importance that a restoration
- To ascertain the extent and nature of any
- To confirm whether it is practical, given
the current topography and access considerations, to carry out
a restoration which results in a garden that is open for public
- To identify options for future management
- To identify the costs involved in a restoration.
- To identify the timescales involved in a
- To identify potential partners and funders
of a restoration.
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