In the 1930’s if you asked somebody in Blantyre, “Have you seen the Rose Garden?“, everybody would know exactly where you meant. Today, not so much.
Pictured here in 1929, in what I believe to be a previously unpublished photo online is Blantyre’s beautifully tended Rose Garden. This small terraced garden was incredibly well kept, as it formed part of the tourist attractions at the newly opened David Livingstone Memorial Centre. Located behind what is now the Africa Pavillions, the terraced slopes were ideal for a sloping garden down to the banks of the Clyde. Complete with wooden trellises, statues and a paddling pool at one end, the Rose Garden must have been a popular attraction, to sit at a nearby bench and enjoy the scene. In the background would have been the outdoor concert venue, which I’ve posted recently about.
Today, there’s still a garden there and its well kept (which is great!), but sadly often locked as a fence surrounds the perimeter of it. More exotic plant species form the modern garden, reflecting the many plants that the centre has imported over the decades. Had the Rose Garden still existed today, I’m sure it would have been a popular spot for Wedding Photos and for attracting its very own audience.