London Horticultural Gardens

Horticultural Gardens

Horticultural Gardens .—These beautiful new grounds are objects of attraction on many accounts—their merit in connection with garden architecture, the interest attending the flower-shows there held, and the special relation existing between the grounds and the Exhibitions at Brompton.  You can enter them by the gates in Exhibition Road and Prince Albert Road, South Kensington.  A few years ago, besides an office in London, the society had only facilities at Chiswick for holding the great flower-shows.  The present arrangement is in all respects a superior one.  Twenty acres of land were purchased or rented from the Commissioners of the Great Exhibition of 1851, between the Kensington and Brompton Roads; the subscribers of the purchase-money being admitted to membership on favourable conditions.  The ground is laid out in three terraces, rising successively in elevation, and surrounded by Italian arcades open to the gardens.  There are also cascades and waterworks.  The highest terrace has a spacious conservatory, to form a winter-garden.  Mr. Sidney Smith is the architect.  The last Great Exhibition building was so planned as to form a vast southern background to the gardens; and the latter were spread out in all their beauty, as seen from certain points in the former.  During the summer months the gardens are open on certain occasions to the public by paying, the days and terms being duly advertised in the newspapers and journals.  Near these gardens is the towering Royal Albert Hall of Science and Art, which was formally opened by Queen Victoria, on the 29th of March, 1871.  The fact of 8,000 people attending within one building to witness the opening of it, will shew its vast size.  The sum of £200,000, up to that date, had been expended on it.  The Hall, in some sense, has been erected in memory of the late Prince Consort, whose aspirations, during his honourable life here, were always towards whatever tended to the moral and intellectual culture of the people of this country.  The management of the undertaking is entrusted to the energetic attention of the scientific men to whom we owe the South Kensington Museum.