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Horniman Gardens just a stones throw from Croydon
4:20pm Wednesday 20th June 2012 in Leisure
Gardens fit for any occasion are waiting on the borough's doorstep.
Following a £2.3m refurbishment, Horniman Museum Gardens, just to the north of the borough, now include a Gardens Pavilion, Animal Walk, Sound Garden, Sunken Garden, Food Garden and Materials Gardens.
Opened for the summer on May 30 by BBC garden expert Joe Swift, the venue is open to the public and completely free of charge.
Swift, best known for his appearances on Gardeners World, says: "The Horniman is a gem, inspiring and delighting generations of visitors. As a Patron I’m thrilled that the Horniman’s 16 acres of Gardens are now complete, with beautiful plants, breathtaking and genuinely surprising views across London. It’s a great space to escape to in the heart of the city."
The most significant new development is the introduction of a Gardens Pavilion designed by Walters and Cohen, which will host school groups, conferences and public performances.
Next to the new Pavilion, the Animal Walk will be home to alpacas, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits and ferrets, to be introduced gradually to the space from this autumn. Visitors will be able to walk right through the centre of the new area for a close up view of the animals.
Musical play area The Sound Garden features oversized instruments including a giant xylophone the Sunken Garden encourages a more contemplative visit, with a reflective pool surrounded by dye-creating plants.
Visitors can also enjoy The Food Garden, celebrating edible plants from around the world, or the Materials Garden, featuring plant life used in the creation of clothes and other day to day products.
The Garden also features plants used to treat illnesses in different parts of the world, as traditional remedies or in the make-up of modern medicines.
Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ Admission: Free (Aquarium has an admission charge) Opening hours: 10.30am-5.30pm daily Further information: www.horniman.ac.uk or 020 8699 1872