The Allen Gallery – Hampshire Cultural Trust

The Allen Gallery Hampshire

The history of the Allen Gallery garden dates back to the days when William Curtis (1803-81), the founder of the museum, lived at 4, High Street.

In 1778 he opened his own Botanical Garden, but success came towards the end of his life when he started publishing the Botanical Magazine in 1787. The publication aimed to make a display of the Flower Garden of ornamental foreign plants cultivated in the open ground or garden. It proved to be the birth of a botanical and publishing phenomenon and subscriptions can still be taken out.

The present garden is a mixture of herbaceous and shrub borders as well as raised beds and it has been planned so that there should be something of interest at all times of the year. The Allen Gallery gardeners are volunteers who come in about once a week and try to keep the area tidy and welcoming for the benefit of our visitors and the local community.

Many other plants, shrubs and bulbs have been added to enhance the year-round colour and scent, such as a Medlar, Lonicera frangrantissima, viburnams and roses. The bulbs create a colourful welcome early in the year and continue on into the Spring when the perennials start to emerge.

The ‘terrace area’ has tables and chairs and parasols for when the sun is shining, where visitors may enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and cake. The terrace has been planted with scent in mind and is surrounded by lavender, herbs and pinks.

The garden does not set out to be a botanic garden, but more a place where visitors can relax and perhaps gain ideas for their own gardens as well.