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The Sunken Garden

The Vision

Our vision is to replant the area to make the space more open and friendly by removing the phormiums. Phormiums offer comparatively little by way of benefit to nature, and had become too dominant in the space, creating hiding places which can encourage anti-social behaviour.

With overgrown Phormiums and Hebes, the sunken garden was a hideaway that attracted anti-social behaviour.

With the backing of the Council Parks Team, the Friends of Denton Gardens are in the process of implementing a new planting scheme, thanks to the design input of our talented local garden designer, Jade Goto. The scheme employs coast tolerant plants that will offer softness, colour, movement and openness, with year-round interest.

The plants will be low maintenance and attractive to wildlife, with a mix of grasses and perennials, and at a height that can be seen over, to make the space feel inviting and integrated with the rest of the gardens. This is an extension of the scheme we have already started planting around the pergola. In the short term the lower level beds will be turfed, creating space for families to play, picnic and socialise, while we are busy fundraising to get all the beds planted up over the next few seasons.

A brief pictorial history of the sunken garden: Sunken Garden History

The Plan: Sunken Garden Plan (PDF)

Phormiums being removed to make way for the new plan.

We have received £3,500 from the Community Infrastructure Levy, and we are adding £500 of our fundraised cash to enable us to buy the plants to complete the sunken garden project.

We are now preparing the soil in the upper beds and grass seeding the lower beds with help from Worthing Borough Council Ground Maintenance Team and Park Rangers.

The Grass in the lower beds is starting to grow 🙂

UPDATE 8th MAY 2024:
We have finalised planting plans for the four borders and the plants will be arriving in a few days. Louise Corcoran (FoDG Secretary) has continued Jade’s planting scheme to harmonise with the borders adjacent to the pergola.

Planting plans (PDF format):
Top Beds Planting Scheme NE
Top Beds Planting Scheme NW
Top Beds Planting Scheme SE
Top Beds Planting Scheme SW

UPDATE 12 MAY 2024

Planting Day


The Planting Team

A huge thank you to Worthing Borough Council for awarding the funds through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to enable us to embark on this project. Thank you also to Anthony Read, the park rangers and the grounds maintenance team for their continued help. 

And finally, a big thank you to all the volunteers for giving up their time (rain or shine) to help us make Denton Gardens a more pleasant place to be.

If you fancy helping in the gardens on Wednesday or Saturday please let us know. Details here.