Janine Nahapiet, who is co-ordinating the KTE Bicentennial project, explained her plans at the AGM earlier this month.Her talk had three themes: investing in the gardens and our legacy for the future; celebrating one amazing year; and extending our community around the estate and beyond.
Already Janine has collected numerous suggestions for celebrating 2023 and welcomes more. She has spent time talking with people on the Estate and making contacts with useful people and bodies outside who could help and advise us, including the National Garden Scheme.
She planned a workshop to help us develop our understanding of the gardens we have inherited so that we had a context for selecting projects that made our mark but enhanced the heritage we would pass on. The restoration of the flint walls enclosing the Secret Garden was an obvious candidate for a bicentenary project.
Janine has got together a working party to pursue the project in different ways. She spoke of a plan to produce a new history of the gardens, expanding the focus of the present Antony Dale booklet. There were suggestions from the floor of providing a guide to the significant or interesting trees and shrubs in the gardens, or to develop our understanding of the phases of development in the horticulture of the gardens and there was a suggestion to erect a statue of T.R. Kemp. There was discussion of how the connection with Lewis Carroll and his Alice in Wonderland should be included, and two residents who were artists each offered work to achieve this.
Janine spoke of an aspiration to widen the participation in the garden celebrations by enabling controlled access events which could include people beyond the Estate. The KTS summer party and the Friday evening drinks party were existing examples of this. A one-afternoon opening of the South Garden as part of the NGS scheme was planned for June this year. More ideas would be gathered and evaluated before proposals were made.
Kemp Town Enclosures is a communal garden, owned collectively by the freeholders of the 105 houses that make up the Kemp Town Estate. Developed in the 1820's by Thomas Kemp, the Estate consists of Sussex Square, Lewes Crescent, Chichester Terrace and Arundel Terrace.