Old maps reveal quite a number of greenhouses existed throughout the Park, particularly on the perimeter.
It has always been thought these were mainly used by gardeners to rear bedding plants, and, perhaps, to protect the tender exotics that were put out in the Sub Tropical garden. The two rare postcards shown on this page suggest a rather different view.
First of all, the size of this greenhouse seems bigger than we might have expected. We already know from reports at the time that people queued to see Chrysanthemums. The manner of planting is very much in the high Victorian conservatory style. This can still be seen in places such as Tatton Park, Cheshire. Ferns and Cabbage Palms can also be be seen, in addition to climbers covering the lower part of the roof.
Perhaps most intriguing are the two gentlemen shown. Who were they? Possibly a Park Keeper with his Head Gardener, or are they champion chrysanthemum growers? We don’t know! Could the formidable bearded man with the top hat be Mr. Gibson himself? If so, it is this mans ideas about planting, and what to plant that form the crux of a significant portion of the current multi-million pound restoration.