More about the secret garden from Beverley, our garden tour guide. Why not arrange a time for a tour and enjoy the history of the garden?
Our Fig Tree
Another lady who is known to have traversed this ancient path is Queen Victoria (1819–1901). Her footsteps have left their mark here, especially through her last child, Princess Beatrice (1857). Beatrice has a well-established garden on the Isle of Wight, which dates back to the 1800s. The Isle of Wight is the largest island in England and rests just across the water—in view of Southsea Green Community Garden. Beatrice was extremely fond of trees in all forms; however, her particular interest on this royal estate was fruit trees. A main feature in her garden nearby is a fig tunnel, which she would share frequent footsteps. Queen Victoria was in an extremely devoted marriage to her father, Albert. Victoria lost her husband Albert when he was only 42. Beatrice therefore lost her father at just 4 years old. Queen Victoria never got over his death and she chose to wear black for the rest of her life. Visitors still stroll through this fig tunnel as if to walk beside her to this day. A feature of particular interest at Southsea Green Community Garden is a fig tree, which stands at the back of the garden with a mature presence. Princess Beatrice planted this fig tree on the mainland in Portsmouth during this time, which corresponds with her fig tunnel across the water on the Isle of Wight. Beatrice must have cherished these trees and would have respected their devoted presence. She would refer to her stays on the Isle of Wight in her diaries as a ‘A little paradise.’ Likewise, this particular spot at Southsea Green must have birthed emotional significance for Princess Beatrice during her wise and well-established life.