Token used to Enter the Gardens in 1836

Marnock Garden

Marnock Garden (Area K)

Marnock Garden is a small, sheltered garden and was opened in 1988, to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the main Gardens. Terraces have timber and stone retaining walls, and there is easy wheelchair and pram access. Construction work was completed by the contractors, Brambledown, but site preparation, planting and maintenance has been carried out by the Gardens' staff and FOBS volunteers.

There is an emphasis on sensory plants here, which do well on the warm south-facing slopes and terraces. Plantings have been modified to increase their sensory interest, particularly emphasising flower and foliage scent. A scree area has been developed displaying spring bulbs, especially species tulips and Allium varieties. Assorted Helianthemum spp., a variety of Penstemon cultivars, including the dwarf Mexicali hybrids, and many other rock and scree plants give colour and beauty all year. As with all the areas, final adjustment of the plantings will take place over several years.

In 2007 it was proposed that a limited area in the lower corner of the Marnock Garden should be modified to include seating, primarily to cater for small educational groups. Interested enthusiasts were invited to submit design proposals. While no one particular entry was judged by the Plant Collections Committee to meet their specifications, ideas from all five entries have been incorporated into a final design. Construction work is due to start later in 2008.

Robert Marnock Garden - © Meg Jullien, 2007

Robert Marnock Garden

Penstemon cultivars in Robert Marnock Garden - © Meg Jullien, 2007

Penstemon cultivars in Robert Marnock Garden

Update November 2008

Leaf Cutter Ant

In November 2008, a stainless steel sculpture of a giant leaf cutter ant, created by sculptor Johnny White, was placed in the Marnock Garden as an addition to the Riddle Trail. The Off the Shelf Festival and the Galvanise Sheffield Festival of Contemporary Metal Design were involved in the project.

Leaf cutter ants are found in the West Indies and South America in large colonies of around 8 million individuals. The female worker ants are approximately 1cm long. The ants cut and collect leaves to use as compost on which to grow a specialised fungus, which they feed on.

The sculpture measures 1.6 metres high x l.6 metres long and the spikes are made from rejected hip joints, which were found in a scrap yard in the Attercliffe area of Sheffield. Part of the Marnock Garden is currently being modified to include a new picnic area, and the ant, now known as "Anthia", will be incorporated into the design.

Giant leaf cutter ant sculpture - © Meg Jullien, 2008

Robert Marnock Garden

Restoration Partnership: Sheffield Town Trust |  Sheffield City Council |  University of Sheffield  
Friends of the Botanical Gardens |  Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust  

Clarkehouse Road, Sheffield, S10 2LN. Tel: +44 (0)114 268 6001
Site created by Gumshoe Software Limited.
This page updated on 16 April 2015. This site updated on 19 November 2012.