Dear South Cliff Gardens


Charlotte Oliver and contributors to the Dear South Cliff Gardens Postcard Project

Dear South Cliff Gardens, you are trees,

you’re conkers, grass, owls and ice-cream,

you’re calm, you’re magic, home to fairy folk,

you’re where friends meet, you are the colour green.

You are chess flowers on a shady bank,

floating clouds and, far-out, sailing boats,

a Buddhist monk in quiet contemplation,

wrens and robins in the undergrowth.

You are ruby roses, formal planting,

secret paths whose mystery leads to light,

fresh air, floral dialogue and golf,

creeping sunrise, crashing waves at night.

You are your amazing volunteers,

you’re a choice of different routes to take,

a stroll through laughter carried by the breeze

finishing in lemon-drizzle cake.

Dear South Cliff Gardens, you are seasons,

life returning after Winter, you

are bright sky glimpsed between high Autumn tree-tops,

you are awesome, glorious summer views.

Loved for all the colours in your gardens

whilst Mercury impassively looks on,

you are wildlife eating out of hands,

you’re a thousand birds in sunrise song.

You are boys with sticks for fishing rods,

you are children playing in the leaves,

peace and quiet, natural and clean,

you are rippling water, swaying seas.

Shelters in you whisper of the past,

you have secrets that few people know –

squirrels softer than a million cushions,

a special bank where wild orchids grow.

Dear South Cliff Gardens, thanks for memories;

parents meeting 70 years ago,

grandma showing flowers to her grandchild,

a 1950s mum who struck a pose.

Thank you, South Cliff Gardens, for your comfort;

soothing shade, delightful daydreams, peace,

pathways that lead down to sheltered silence,

to that space where quiet solace breathes.

Thank you, South Cliff Gardens, for the time

for families, when precious seeds are sown –

little ones grow up but don’t forget

and then return with children of their own.

Thank you, South Cliff Gardens, for your walks,

meanders, ambles, promenades and jogs

in sunshine, lockdown, Spring and sometimes rain

with partners, pals, with dearests and with dogs.

Such gratitude that future generations

will enjoy you, better now than new.

Our postcard’s full, so, dear South Cliff Gardens,

we sign-off, sending all our love to you!


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