Parade Gardens

parade gardens ann martin bed

Originally we sowed wild flowers in this bed which did well for the first couple of years then failed completely. With so much work and time involved in trying to make a success of the wild flowers we decided to call it a day. The Bed you see today is the result of a design by our volunteer organiser Jan Foster. Calls went out to our volunteers to clear the wild flowers, weed the bed (which took some doing), lay a membrane and distribute two tonnes of gravel.
Our local sailing school came up with the old boat, life buoys and other seafaring objects. Carmet Tug Co donated a huge very thick ships towing rope. Sea Grass art studio in Hoylake had their art students paint seaside pictures on to mall stones. Unfortunately with the stones a craze started with youngsters to collect or move them, so they soon disappeared but some new ones have appeared and it does bring youngsters around the Gardens.
We have named the the bed and boat ‘Ann Martin’ after a staunch volunteer and friend who we lost in 2017. The boat also has the words CALM on it which which reflects the feeling of the whole sensory area.
The bed is planted with a wave of ornamental Molinia Grasses along with Valerian,
Thrift and self seeded Poppies. The planting is all low maintenance with a minimal water requirements

Parade gardens grasses bed

This was a difficult area which was an eyesore. We wrote to Neil Lucas of Knoll Gardens, a specialist in ornamental grasses. We gave him the measurements and environmental conditions asking his advice. He came straight back with a plan and supplied the ornamental grasses at cost price which was quite amazing as we had never met him before. He has helped us a few times since. 

Parade gardens short and long beds

The three long beds run alongside the tennis courts and have been planted up with drought resistant plants as we have no nearby water supply.

The eight short beds run alongside the sensory garden and were dug out and prepared by the children from Great Meols School environmental club as part of our 2018 RHS North West in Bloom bid, these beds have thrived ever since. They are planted up with Margarities and Geraniums.

Parade GARDENS Green flag award

The Friends are very proud to have received in 2018 the first Green Flag Award for Parade Gardens in its 100 year history. We won it again for the 2019/2020 year after a mystery shopper assessment which you can read below.  It is a credit to all the Friends volunteers for all their hard work on the floral displays and all the new and renovated infrastructure. 

Parade Gardens Rockery and Gravel bed

The rockery bed was created in 2018, from a waste triangular piece of shrub and grass facing the bowling green. Our volunteers cleared the site and we put out an appeal for sandstone which is the area’s local stone. Cammell Laird ship builders provided some rope (cut to length and bound) . A local sculptor created the center piece artwork depicting the area’s history. Friends volunteers then planted the bed with a variety of hardy native seaside plants, Biting Stonecrop, English Stonecrop, Evening Primrose, Thrift,  Jersey Thrift, Rock Samphire, Rock Sea Spurry, Soapwort, Sea Arrow Brass, Sea Champion, Viper Bugloss, White Stonecrop and Erynium Erigeron Karvinskianus. It is now grown and matured and a prominent feature in Parade Gardens.

parade gardens history

Below is a brief pictorial history of Parade Gardens (if mot displayed please refresh your screen)

Parade Gardens Sea side Bed

For many years this bed used to be a dumping ground for the grass cuttings from the bowling green. Volunteers cleared the site of rubbish and dug the well rotted grass cuttings along with a great deal on manure. A large selection of shrubs suited to the area were purchased and planted with timber sleepers acting as an edge to the bed.

parade gardens murals

To cover the curved end wall of Parade Gardens which used to be a full shelter a local artist Barbara Singleton created wonderful murals depicting local scenes old and new.

parade gardens Play items

We held a fundraising event at Hoylake social club to raise money to purchase play equipment suitable for toddlers and less abled children to use.

Parade gardens Infrastructure improvements

The original Parade Gardens seaside walls were in a very sad state, having been battered by 100 years of seaside weather. Although still sound thet did need considerable renovation and painting. With the help pf local contractors, volunteers and funding from grants we have renovated and painted all of these walls but with the location of thes walls it will not be long before they will all need painting again.
Any painting volunteers out there? 
We also installed gates on the sensory garden in order to make the area safe for children. The steps leading down to the tennis courts have also been fully renovated by the Friends.

Parade Gardens Management Plan

The management plan is jointly written with Wirral Council and the Friends, it is an ideal plan for the Gardens but with the Council funding restraints only basic maintenance is carried out with the Friends doing as much as possible. (if plan not shown, please refresh page)

Parade Gardens Round Bed

This bed is full of roses, some of which are original ones and many years old. We have heavily pruned them and giving them plenty of feed, they are now looking wonderful. Lavender has been planted along the beds surrounding wall.

Parade Gardens tea kiosk

In the summer months the Friends run a Tea Kiosk in Parade Gardens for gardens visitors, serving hot and cold drinks along with various snacks. The proceeds from the tea room go towards the Gardens maintenance.

Parade Gardens courts

Parade gardens has 2 tennis courts, a 5-a-side pitch and a basketball court. In 2020 thanks to a house building project in Hoylake on other tennis courts which attracted a levy amount to bring Parade Gardens tennis courts up to scratch. We just have the 5-a-side court to renovate now.

Parade Gardens volunteers

There are so many beds to look after in Parade Gardens we hold monthly  Gardens tidies to keep everything looking good.

Parade Gardens Sensory area

Many years ago the children of Market Street School were asked by the Friends to draw pictures of what they like about Hoylake with the intention of turning these pictures into a mosaic.
Many years later we managed to secure a big enough grant to have a mosaic produced by two very talented ladies who ran a mosaic business called ‘Itchy Feet’. Four seat-cum-planters were purchased and placed around the mosaic and planted with sensory planting. This sensory area is very popular with locals and visitors alike to sit and rest and maybe enjoy a picnic,