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Posted 7 February 2013

Statue of St Fiacre unveiled - 6 February 2013

Reverend Keith Robus, Naval Base Chaplain, Dr Ann Coats, Co-ordinator, Friends of the Porter's Garden and John Phillipson, sculptor, with statue of St Fiacre. Photo: Portsmouth News

The Reverend Keith Robus, Naval Base Chaplain, formally unveiled a statue of St Fiacre, Patron Saint of Gardeners, on Wednesday 6 February 2013 at a ceremony in the Porter's Garden attended by Friends and guests. Reverend Robus blessed the statue and the garden and said a prayer of dedication. Refreshments were served afterwards at 19 College Road.

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Posted 5 January 2013 (updated 24 January 2013)

Statue of St Fiacre fixed to dockyard wall - 17 October 2012

John Phillipson and statue of St Fiacre. Photos: Pauline Powell

On 17 October 2012 John Phillipson completed the fixing to the dockyard wall in the Porter's Garden of a statue of St Fiacre, the patron saint of gardeners. The statue was made by him.

The statue accompanies three oval plaques commemorating Queen Mary II, King Charles II and Queen Anne all of whom had an interest in gardening. These were also made by John Phillipson and were put up by him on 23 June 2010.

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Posted 24 June 2012

Garden Party cancelled - Sunday 24 June 2012

What with lack of response to invitations and iffy weather the meeting this afternoon, 21 June 2012, decided to cancel the Jubilee Midsummer Garden Party scheduled for Sunday 24 June 2012. It is disappointing but we must be realistic.

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Posted 28 April 2012

Wild garlic soup

This week we weeded out the wild garlic from the William III bed. We must get it all out before it goes to seed or we shall have a worse problem next spring. It makes a nice soup.

Ingredients (serves 2)

50g butter
100g onions roughly chopped
200g potatoes, peeled and chopped
300ml hot stock
1 bunch wild garlic leaves
2tbsp cream (optional)


  1. Melt butter in heavy bottomed pan and add the onions and potatoes and lightly fry them and then cover with a lid and cook for 10 mins.
  2. Then gradually add the stock and combine well with the mixture, and then gently cook until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Stir in most of the wild garlic leaves, leaving a few for garnish, and cook for one more minute and then stir in the cream if using.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and blend till smooth. Season to taste.
  5. Serve with a little chopped garlic leaves sprinkled on top.

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Posted 9 February 2012

Charles Dickens Border opened by Tony Pointon, 8th February 2012

Professor Tony Pointon opened the Dickens border on Wednesday 8 February 2012 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth.


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Posted 6 November 2011

Web space

More space has been made on the web site by moving the video of the heritage open day 2008 to the YouTube site - thanks to Martin Clarke. The move has freed up 10MB of web space.

Hampshire County Council supports the Friends of the Porter's Garden - as a community organisation - by hosting the web site and providing free 50MB of web space.

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Posted 6 November 2010

Friends autumn lunch 22 October 2010

Friends celebrating on Friday 22 October 2010 at The Brasserie Blanc, Gunwharf Quays. Eleven Friends enjoyed the occasion. Thanks go to Margaret Judd for organizing it.

Lunch at The Brasserie Blanc, Gunwharf Quays. Photo: Jackie Baynes

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Posted 6 November 2010

Pigeonís nest

A well decorated pigeonís nest was spotted in one of the walnut trees on 27 October 2010 after the leaves had fallen. The red pods of the Koelreuteria paniculata (Pride of India) tree had been put to good use.

Pigeonís nest. Photo: Pauline Powell

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Posted 17 October 2010 (revised 5 January 2013)

Heritage Open Days in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard -
11 and 12 September 2010

Tours of the Porter's Garden and Lodge
Dr Ann Coats, Coordinator of the Friends of the Porter's Garden, conducted tours on both days of interested groups of about 12 people. One man said he had been trying for three years to get on this tour! Ann covered the past history of the garden and its development over the last 10 years and plans for the future. Its signature plants, statues, and other items of interest were all pointed out. The tour of the Porter's Lodge, built at roughly the same time as the Dockyard Wall started in the attics and proceeded down stairs to the cellar. Ann illustrated her talk with the history of several of the porters who lived in the lodge and worked in the dockyard, detailing their duties and other fund raising activities!
Albert Road Community Choir
On the Sunday, after the tour, the Albert Road Community Choir lead by Janet Ayers performed in the garden in aid of the charity Water Aid, they have raised nearly £400.00 so far. The choir is made up of singers from groups like Singing Together and Afternoon Chorus and is joined by people from as far a field as Southampton and Chichester. The Sing for Water is part of a national fund raising project. Similar choirs from all over the country will soon come together in London for a mass choir fund raising event. Ann Coats said, "The singing was amazing: about 100 people turned up and were spread round the square lawn. The singing was really good and lively".


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Posted 10 August 2010

Plaques fixed to dockyard wall - 23 June 2010

John Phillipson fixed three oval plaques to the dockyard wall commemorating Queen Mary II (1689 - 1694), King Charles II (1660 -1685) and Queen Anne (1702 -1714) all of whom had an interest in gardening. The plaques were made by him.

Fixing the Mary II plaque. Photo: Pauline Powell

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Posted 24 July 2009

Ken Yalden ties sailor's knots

Ken Yalden of The International Guild of Knot Tyers has been exercising his knot tying skills for us again and has made some beautiful ties to support the new juglans nigra (Black Walnut) trees planted in March.

So now the cynara cardunculus (Cardoon), arbutus unedo (Strawberry tree), cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) and the five new walnuts are all supported with his expert sailorís knots.  Thank you Ken we are very grateful.

Ken Yalden checking the ties on the new Black Walnut trees on 23 July 2008 photo Pauline Powell

A picture on the web site of The International Guild of Knot Tyers

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Posted 30 August 2008
Updated 20 August 2010

Tour the dockyardís oldest building
Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 September 2008

Take a guided tour of the Porterís Lodge (1708), the dockyardís oldest surviving building, and the Porter's Garden and learn about the life and times of the Porter who unlocked the gate, rang the muster bell - and kept a very good cellar! 1pm.

The Porterís Lodge photo John Scott

Portsmouth Heritage Open Days 2008 Thursday 11th - Sunday 14th September. Heritage Open Days is a national, annual event that celebrates Englandís architecture and culture by allowing visitors free access to interesting properties that are not normally open, or would normally charge an entrance fee.

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Posted 1 June 2008

The Friends amend their constitution at meeting on 29 May 2008

The Friends of the Porter's Garden amended their constitution at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 29 May 2008. There is a new officer, social secretary, and a new class of membership, Affiliate membership. New clause 4.4 says:

4.4 Affiliate membership shall be open to volunteers other than a Full, Associate or Joint Members who may work in the Porterís Garden and shall not be required to pay an annual subscription.


Constitution pdf

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Posted 16 May 2008

Jim Sykes opens 300th anniversary border on Sunday 4 May 2008

Dr Ann Coats welcomed guests and Friends to the opening of the border. Dr Coats said, "The border marks the 300th anniversary of the building of the Porter's Lodge in 1708 and celebrates the use of herbs in medicine. It is planted with a selection of the herbs used over the centuries for medicinal and culinary purposes."

Surgeon Commodore Jim Sykes - photo by John Scott

Surgeon Commodore Jim Sykes Royal Navy, Medical Officer in Charge, Institute of Naval Medicine, spoke about the use of herbs in medicine, naval medicine and the history of medicine in England, then cut the ribbon to open the border and performed the first watering.

The use of herbs as medicines - Text of talk by Surgeon Commodore Jim Sykes
Leaflet  pdf - distributed at the opening of the 300th anniversary border on Sunday 4 May 2008

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Posted 4 September 2007

Visit to Highdown Gardens - 15 August 2007

Nine Friends of the Porter's Garden took the train from Portsmouth to Goring-by-Sea on a slightly less than promising morning for their visit to this important garden in a chalk pit now owned by Worthing Borough Council. The garden was begun in 1909 by Sir Frederick Stern and developed by him and Lady Stern from 1919 onwards. It still contains some of the original rare and beautiful plants and trees from the early collections from China and the Himalayas.

Two friends in conversation beneath the weeping Hornbeam tree planted by Queen Mary - photo by Pauline Powell

The whole garden has been deemed a National collection and was awarded the Green Flag Award in 2003. The chalk pit itself was used in former days to provide lime for the surrounding fields and now contains lilacs, junipers, Himalayan musk roses, a hellebore bank, a rock garden, ponds and bamboos. Other features include a rose garden, island beds containing herbaceous plants and tree paeonies, acid beds with camellias and rhododendrons, a beautiful weeping Hornbeam tree planted in 1937 by Queen Mary, and much more of general and special interest.

After our garden visit we walked up Highdown Hill, part of which is owned by the National Trust, to see the site of the Miller's Tomb and an early Iron Age Fort. The views from the top were spectacular. A cream tea in the garden of Highdown Hotel was then enjoyed by all before the journey home.

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Posted 20 April 2007

The Porter's Back Garden

The Porter's Back Garden - photo by Pauline Powell

Recently designed and realised by Friends of the Porter's Garden led by Margaret Judd, the Porter's Back Garden is a small space of simplicity, charm and tranquillity. Composed of golden gravel and mossy flagstones; punctuated with welsh slate, drift wood, rocks and ferns, this secret garden is arched over by a canopy of sweet smelling jasmine and leads to a door to the Porter's Lodge in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Pauline Powell
March 2007

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Posted 27 March 2007 (corrected 17 April 2007)

Colin White opens anti-slave trade border on Sunday 25 March 2007

Left: Dr Colin White and Dr Ann Coats. Right and below: the audience at the opening ceremony

Dr Colin White, Director of the Royal Naval Museum, opened the anti-slave trade border on Sunday 25 March 2007. The museum's exhibition, 'Chasing Freedom - The Royal Navy and the Suppression of the Transatlantic Slave Trade', which opened on 3 February 2007, uniquely tells the story of the role of the Royal Navy.

A display of replica manacles was set off by red, navy and gold ribbons. The planting scheme will feature tobacco Nicotiana Tabacum, sugar cane Saccharum officinarum, the dahlia Bishop of Llandaff (red flowers and black foliage), gold lace primulas (dark red laced with gold), red Pasque flowers, black iris and black grasses, with cowslips to lighten the border. As it is too cold in March to plant the tobacco, sugar cane and Bishop Llandaff, they will be planted in June when the weather is warmer. The colour red will symbolise the blood of the Africans, gold the sugar, tobacco and sun, and navy the Royal Navy. The border has been designed by Friends Margaret Judd and Pauline Powell.

Alisa Vanlint of the 2nd Augustan Legion Living History Society presented 'Slavery through the Ages'.

Marie Costa represented the African Women's Forum. Anne Carpenter represented Anti-Slavery, an organisation which highlights the sufferings endured on the middle passage and campaigns for freedom for present day slaves. Pam Nelson, Chair of the Caribbean Islands Association, was also present.

Press release doc

Report by Dr Ann Coats pdf - The Porterís Garden Anti-Slave Trade Border opened Sunday 25 March 2007

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Posted 9 November 2006

Visit to Bury Court

On Wednesday 27 September 2006, two Friends of the Porter's Garden committee attended a Plantsman's Day at Bury Court, Bentley, near Farnham. Four nurseries were there all day with interesting and unusual plants and bulbs for sale.  We were treated to a conducted tour around the walled garden designed by Piet Oudolf and the front garden designed by Christopher Bradley-Hole and then had a fascinating talk about Autumn flowering bulbs in the afternoon.

Part of the gravel bed with the wrought iron temple in the background - photo by Pauline Powell

Notes by Margaret Judd

The impressive gravel bed in the picture featured scattered mounds of lavender, salvia and santolina.  The gravel bed was approximately 2.5 ft deep and was made up of:

60% grit
20% loam
20% mushroom compost
The mounds were cut back hard twice a year and the santolina flowers removed because of their unpleasant smell.

The wrought iron temple featured a Pyrus saliciflia (ornamental pear) which twined and climbed around the frame.  It was pruned hard to short verticals from which the horizontal twiners emerged which were then trained upwards and around the framework.

The talk on Autumn flowering bulbs took place after a very good lunch and was given by John Graham of Steventon Road Nurseries.  It was "an introduction to this neglected group of plants, demonstrating their cultural need and their potential in contemporary garden planting."

  • Autumn bulbs in the garden:
  • Respond to the ground getting wetter
  • Need good light and well drained soil with added lime if appropriate
  • Should be planted 2/3 times the depth of the bulb
  • Could be planted in groups using aquatic containers sunk in the soil for easy removal later.
In planters or pots:
  • Use John Innes type compost
  • Just cover the bulb with an inch or so of soil, depth not important
  • Add a circle of fibre mat to the bottom of the container to prevent worms getting in and a mixture of  grit, peat and loam
  • Top dress with grit.
  • Autumn Bulbs by Rod Leeds, pub. BT Batsford
  • Garden Guide to Bulbs by Brian Matthews and Phillip Swindells, pub. Mitchell Beazley
NB Specific advice on period bulbs can be obtained from RHS or Kew.

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Posted 20 September 2006

Visit to Denmans Garden

On 6 September 2006, five Friends of the Porter's Garden committee visited Denmans Garden, near Fontwell, West Sussex. It was an evening visit; part of the Yellow Book Gardens Open for Charity programme. The Friends were happy to wander around the four-acre garden with a glass of wine on a very pleasant September evening.

One of the Top Lawn beds - photo by Pauline Powell

The picture shows the Friends admiring one of the Top Lawn beds with the conservatory in the background. The unheated conservatory contains interesting foliage plants, a selection of succulents and a cage of colourful budgerigars. Other areas of interest were the Walled Garden - foliage colour being as important as flower colour - the Dry Gravel Stream bed which allows for more random planting and where seedlings can over-winter in the dry environment. In the South Garden there is a large pool and an area of rough grass which has bulbs and wild flowers in it in the spring.

To round off a very enjoyable evening, several purchases were made from the well stocked plant centre.

Further information - external site:
Denmans Garden

Pauline Powell
Hon Secretary
Friends of the Porter's Garden

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Posted 15 June 2006 (corrected 26 June 2006)

Giant subtropical plant

Echium pininana on 19 May 2006. Pictures John Scott

"The Porter's Garden project continues our historic links and cultivates exotic maritime plants," said Dr Ann Coats, Chair of the Friends of the Porter's Garden.

"But," continued Dr Coats, "this summer's highlights are two Echium pininanas. They were donated to us in 2004 as seedlings and have taken a while to reach their present height of 12 feet, but are now in full bloom."

Also called the 'Tower of Jewels' or 'Pride of Tenerife', their flower spikes are festooned with purple-blue, funnel-shaped flowers. After flowering the plants will die, but scatter their seeds. Native to the Canary Islands, they are common in Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and Ireland. They may be found locally in the Crescent Garden, Alverstoke and on the Isle of Wight.

Press release

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9 April 2006

Portsmouth Society plaque unveiled

Lord Mayor Councillor Robin Sparshatt unveils the plaque awarded by the Portsmouth Society to the Porter's Garden for best landscaping 2005 on 9 April 2006

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Posted 16 February 2006

Strawberry tree pruned

The Strawberry tree before and after pruning on 15 February 2006. Pictures John Scott

Some two thirds of the growth was removed, mainly from the leeward side of the tree.

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Posted 28 August 2005

Visit to Gilbert White's House and Garden and the Oates Museum on 19 August 2005

Seven Friends of the Porter's Garden, went to Gilbert White's House and Garden and the Oates Museum in Selborne.

The Rev. Gilbert White (1720 -1793) author of The Natural History of Selbourne lived here in the 18th century.  He was the founding father of modern scientific recording.  On display in the Library is White's original hand-written manuscript of the Natural History. The garden is well documented by White and has largely been restored to its original form. Features he describes and plants of his time are displayed in "Six Quarters", ornamental "basons", a wild flower garden and vegetable plot. There are 20 acres of garden and parkland with a selection of unusual plants for sale.

It was agreed that it was a fascinating visit, and that the grounds have been developed much more since a previous visit, but kept very focused on horticulture and scientific research. A second visit was proposed to meet David Standing, Head Gardener, to explore intellectual and horticultural links. He is normally there on Mondays, Tuesdays & Fridays. They will have researched and grown many eighteenth century varieties of flowers and vegetables. Another connection to the Porter's Garden is the Captain Oates Museum and our Captain Scott statue. An interesting exhibition commemorates the Oates family and their exploits, particularly Captain Lawrence Oates, who accompanied Scott to the South Pole in 1911.

Plants which we could usefully use (pretty, not too invasive):

Achillea decolorans (English Mace)
Blue borage
Hyssop officinalis
Salad burnet - Sanguisorba minor
Satureja montana (Winter Savory)
Sorrel - Rumex acetosa
Varigated sage
White borage

Some of these would be good in the Porter's Garden

Alcea rosea `Nigra`
Alliums (summer purple, winter structure)
Antirrhinum `Torbay Rock`
Beans Coccinus emeago
Digitalis `Elsie Kelsey`
Dipsacus (Teasel)
Hesperis Matronalis (White Sweet Rocket)
Lychnis coronaria,
Lythrum `Robert`
Mirabilis jalapa (Marvel of Peru) - tubers need lifting so probably not practical
Tropaeolum `Empress of India` (Nasturtium)

William III bed in the Porter's Garden

Amaranthus tricolor `Joseph's Coat
Echinops (6' tall and deep blue)
Teasels (summer purple, winter structure)

Border in the Porter's Garden

Tagetes "Scotch  Pride"
Structure. Part of the garden was edged with overlapping arcs of living willow - perhaps this is not neat enough for the Porter`s Garden. Brick paths were used to contain and separate herb beds.

The dried herbs hanging in the kitchen were: Tansy; Lavender; Sage; Rosemary and Poppy and there was an attractive wreath of Barley, Oats and Poppy heads.

Diggers. 'Wakes Weeders' is name for their volunteer diggers.

We purchased a book called Georgian Gardens by Anne Jennings, published by English Heritage, March 2005, 89 pages, which has a useful plant list in the back and enjoyed a delicious lunch in The Queens Selborne.

Georgian Gardens by Anne Jennings:

This book explores the origins of Georgian Gardens. It looks at how they were designed and highlights the gradual move from formal 17th century designs towards a natural landscape style. Large or small, the gardens of the Georgian period were designed for relaxation and, equally importantly, they were used to demonstrate the owner's status and his understanding of taste and style.

Practical sections in the book provide tips on creating Georgian type features in your own garden, and the list of plants and trees available to 18th century gardeners will help to evoke a Georgian feel. Availability of these plants in UK nurseries is also given. This colour illustrated title is ideal for the amateur or garden enthusiast looking for inspiration. — RIBA Bookshops

Further information - external sites:
Gilbert White's House and Garden and the Oates Museum
"The Wakes", High Street, Selborne, GU34 3JH. Tel: 01420 511275
The Queens Selborne

Report by Ann Coats and Gill Dawe
Pauline Powell edited and added some material

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Posted 6 August 2005

Visit to Highgrove House Gardens

On 1 August 2005, 21 Friends of the Porter's Garden and their friends set off at 0900 from the Hard Interchange in a Vision Travel coach driven by our friendly driver Dave. Our destination was Highgrove House Gardens situated close to Tetbury in Gloucestershire. The Prince of Wales has used his 37-acre estate to promote his interest in organic farming and gardening and has made it a showcase for traditional and organic growing methods.

We arrived at the nearby market town of Tetbury for lunch and by the time we set off again for our time slot for the visit it had stopped raining. Security at the gate over, we were met outside the Orchard Room built in 1998 and were then introduced to our guide, Melanie. We set of for our tour of the gardens a few minutes later. The tour took us through a series of highly individual and inspiring gardens each one reflecting the Princes interests and enthusiasms. Vistas play a large part in the overall plan. It is hard to pick out special favourites as each one brought something new and exciting to consider. We were unfortunately too late for the wild flower meadow and the tulip walk planted with thousands of tulips in shades of purple and red. However, I particularly liked the Terrace Garden, the Thyme Walk and the Sundial Garden illustrated below.

The "black and white" Sundial Garden - photo by Andrew Lawson

The group also enjoyed the Woodland Garden and "Stumpery" and agreed the Southern Hemisphere Garden was coolly beautiful. The garden we thought we would like to take home was the Walled Garden even though it would be a lot of work. A wonderful creation of vegetables, flowers and fruit trees, of about an acre, patriotically designed in the form of four beds divided up as the crosses of St George and St Andrew by box hedges. At the centre is an Italian fountain with an artistic covering of moss.

At the end of the tour is the Carpet Garden, inspired by a Turkish carpet with which the Prince won a silver medal at Chelsea Flower Show in 2001. It was transferred back to Highgrove and installed in a new walled garden. We were then treated to tea and biscuits (Duchy Originals of course) in the Orchard Room with time for a visit to the shop afterwards.

Having thanked our guide for her illuminating tour we set of for home after a really enjoyable and motivating visit.

Pauline Powell
Hon Secretary
Friends of the Porter's Garden

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Posted 30 May 2005; updated 15 May 2008

Sculptured seats installed

Mary Rose seat (left), HMS Victory seat and Roger Stephens by the HMS Warrior 1860 seat

Sculptor Roger Stephens installed three sculptured seats in the Porter's Garden on 24th May 2005. Each seat has the shape of the cross section of the hull of one of the three historic ships, Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. Roger designed the seats. He made them from 6 granite blocks, of total weight 10 tons, that had formed a cart track in Portsmouth dockyard. Roger works from a studio near Salisbury.

Roger Stephens on the HMS Warrior 1860 seat

Roger writes:

From the outset I sought inspiration from artefacts in the dockyard, the museums and the ships. I also felt that the seats had to have relevance to Portsmouth's proud naval and dockyard traditions. I wanted something that represented naval history and dockyard skills, would be recognisable and yet have a sculptural quality. The main attractions of the Historic Dockyard are the three ships, Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860, all of which have an inherent beauty in their construction. Having arrived at this conclusion I decided that the main unifying element was the hull. I have therefore used cross sections from each of the three ships as a basis for the designs. The three designs approximate the sections in both size and dimensions. As the size of the available blocks of granite constrains the size of the uprights and the ships vary considerably in scale, the three seats are designed in different sizes. This will also allow them to fit into the available spaces. I have designed the seats so that they are recognisable primarily as ship's hulls and secondly as coming from the three ships on display. The light grey granite will contrast well with the warm red of the dockyard wall, making them stand out and invite interest, speculation and most importantly, use. The horizontal seats are slightly curved to give the impression of a deck; this will also allow rainwater run off.
Providing the sculptured seating is part of The Porter's Garden project supported by the Onyx Environmental Trust and Hampshire Gardens Trust.

External link: Roger Stephens - sculptor

Pictures Pauline Powell

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Dr Colin White opening the Nelson Border

Dr Colin White opening the Nelson Border on Monday 21 March 2005 to commemorate the two-hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Lord Nelson in 1805 with Dr Ann Coats.

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Posted 16 March 2005

Press release
Portsmouth City Council Cash launches Nelson Border in the Porter's Garden, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard

On Monday 21 March at noon the Friends of the Porter's Garden in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and their guests from Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the local community and the City Council will launch Trafalgar 200 (on the same day and time that the battle of Trafalgar began in October 1805). Dr Colin White will open the chequered yellow and black Nelson Border, which represents Admiral Nelson's particular style of painting the gun port lids of his ships.

Portsmouth City Council, which is coordinating SeaBritain events in Portsmouth throughout 2005, gave the Friends of the Porter's Garden £200 which paid for the 600 young violas. The young plants arrived from Kernock Nursery in Cornwall before Christmas and were over wintered at Greenfingers Horticultural Centre at St James's Hospital. They were potted on by the Friends of the Porter's Garden, and planted out at the beginning of March.


Dr Colin White, Deputy Director of Portsmouth Royal Naval Museum and Director of the Nelson Letters Project, whose latest book, Nelson - the new letters, will be published in April 2005, is a most fitting person to open this border, which will edge the Porter's Garden in College Road. Colin will be aided by a surprise guest.

Following Admiral Horatio Nelson's orders, ships joining his fleet off Cadiz in October 1805 were ordered to paint their gun ports black to effect the 'Nelson chequer'. Their black mast hoops were also painted out with yellow ochre to provide easier identity of English ships in the forthcoming battle.

Nelson's colours will be represented by the yellow and black violas, selected to withstand spring conditions in the dockyard and flower for most of the summer. They will then be cut back to produce a second flush for 21 October 2005, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, giving visitors to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard the maximum view of this border.

All are welcome on Monday 21 March 2005 at noon. This recreated eighteenth century garden is free and open every day. All money raised by the volunteers is spent on plants and soil improvers for the garden.

Contact Dr Ann Coats, Coordinator, Friends of the Porter's Garden, 44, Lindley Avenue, Southsea PO4 9NU, telephone & fax 023 92 863 799, email

See for pictures of this award-winning garden.

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Posted 11 February 2005

Nelson Border opening, Monday 21 March 2005

Dr Colin White, Director, Trafalgar 200 at the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich will open the Nelson Border on Monday 21 March 2005 at 12 noon (the time when the battle of Trafalgar began). Could anyone who can be there arrive at 11.30 please?

Dr Colin White joined the Executive Board of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich in October 2001 on secondment from the Royal Naval Museum In Portsmouth. As Director, Trafalgar 200, his main task is to co-ordinate all the planning for the series of national and international events to mark the bicentenary of Trafalgar in 2005. Originally an expert on the nineteenth-century Royal Navy with two books to his credit (The End of the Sailing Navy and The Heyday of Steam), Colin has increasingly come to be recognised as one of the country's leading experts on Nelson and the Royal Navy of his period. His book, The Nelson Encyclopaedia, was published by Chatham in August 2002. He is currently working on a new edition of Nelson's correspondence, including many new letters, which he has discovered. Colin lectures widely on Nelson and the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Royal Navy, and has also made numerous TV appearances, including his own 3-part series, In Nelson's Footsteps, screened by ITV in 1997. Most recently, he was the chief consultant for the documentary, Nelson and Trafalgar, which was screened by Channel 4 in March 2002. He has also created a Nelson website at

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Posted 6 February 2005

Cash Boost for Porter's Garden Granite Seats

The Friends of the Porter's Garden Dockyard are celebrating £1,000 from Hampshire Gardens Trust towards three seats representing Mary Rose, Victory, and Warrior. Sculptor-stonemason Roger Stephens will fashion recycled granite blocks into the three hull profiles, which will be installed in the Spring, just two years after the seating appeal began.

Midsummer Eighteenth Century Soiree on Sunday 26 June 2005

All are welcome to a Midsummer Eighteenth Century Soiree on Sunday 26 June 2005. Enjoy refreshments and music in a beautiful garden for £5.00. Details later.

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Posted 5 February 2005

Snowdrops at Brandy Mount House

On 2 February 2005, five Friends of the Porter's Garden paid a visit to Brandy Mount House in Alresford to see one of the National Collection of Snowdrops. We learnt that there are five main groups of the genus Galanthus, namely Nivalis, Reginae-olgae, Plicatus, Glaucaefolii and Virdifolii. Snowdrops although not native to Britain grow well on the rich calcareous soil in the area and enjoy the mainly open aspect of the garden. There are extensive plantings around the pond and beneath trees and also under smaller shrubs and herbaceous plants. Some species prefer hotter, sunnier conditions but many grow best in dappled shade. Some very successful combinations of flowers we saw were snowdrops and cyclamen, snowdrops and hellebore and snowdrops and winter aconite. There were also many sweet smelling daphnes, both pink and white, in the garden and interesting and unusual plants in the greenhouses. There is also a raised bed potager.

We bought a few Galanthus reginae-olgae, an autumn flowering species, for the Porter's Garden. After our very enjoyable visit we had delicious lunch in The Globe at the bottom of The Soke, Broad Street with a fine view of the lake.

Further information - external sites:
Brandy Mount House Gardens

Pauline Powell
3 February 2005

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5 January 2005

Sculptured seats

In the garden on 5 January 2005, the granite blocks for the sculptured seats being loaded onto transport to Cornwall for cutting to shape.

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The Friends of the Porter's Garden
Page last updated: 7 February 2013
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