Capability Brown built a dam at the north end of what was to become Wimbledon Park Lake. On the reverse side of the dam was created a waterfall in 1952 to celebrate the coronation of Elisabeth II.
Unfortunately, the waterfall became defunct about twenty years ago and as a result turned from being a place of interest to an eyesore.
The Heritage Group tried to reactivate the waterfall in 2003, but this attempt wasn't successful in terms of continuous flow of water. In 2009, it was decided to try again, but not just reactivate the water flow but to transform the whole of the site into an interesting garden with the waterfall as the central feature.
Matthew Childs was recruited as the designer of the total project and it is through his imagination that we now have something quite special to add to the work done by Capability Brown. The project received financial support from Viridor Credits, The SETA Trust and the London Borough of Merton. Work was delayed during 2010, but got well underway in the autumn and in early December, the planting was underway in what has been described as one of the coldest winters ever seen in Wimbledon. Fortunately great care was taken in planting, particularly the New Zealand tree ferns, and every specimen survived to come into full bloom during the following spring. The contractors were Visible Changes, who sadly haven't survived the recent recession, and the project manager was David Leed.
The plan for the Waterfall Garden was presented to the Duke of Gloucester on 18 March 2010 during the opening of the Stadium clubhouse and was very well received.
The Honourable Mayor, Oonagh Moulton, presided over the formal opening of the Waterfall Garden on 21 December 2010. Shorty after the official opening, we had our first customer who was the mum with her little boy all bundled in red against the cold.
The response from the public has been just fantastic! It is an very special oasis within a highly populated urban environment and adds just that little bit extra to the many charms of Wimbledon Park.
Please help to keep the park tidy by using the litter bins.