Southsea Rock Gardens is a well known and popular location on Southsea seafront. The gardens comprise 1.35 hectares of landscaped ornamental parkland with rich horticultural diversity and a history dating back to the 1920’s. The Rock Gardens were built in the early 1920’s during the years of the depression following the First World War. At that time Central Government were giving loans and grants to local authorities for schemes that would provide jobs for the many unemployed. The gardens were landscaped by hand and planted with mainly evergreen shrubs, herbaceous plants, alpines and a large number of annuals.
The gardens are a secluded area away from the wide open spaces of Southsea Common, and the Millennium Walkway running along the seafront. It is very popular with visitors for the sheltered and tranquil nature of the gardens, and the appeal of the vast range of trees shrubs and borders
Plants are constantly being sourced with the intention of building up a distinctive collection of flora not normally seen in publicly open areas.
There are two ponds and a fountain, with associated wetland plants and fish stock. An interpretation board at the roadside entrance gives an illustrated history of the gardens.
The Friends of the Rock Gardens are a community group who undertake volunteer work in the gardens, helping with the renovation of the beds and borders, and meet weekly on Wednesdays.