History of the gardens
Mr. Frederick Charles Butchart was responsible for the original landscaping of the gardens which he named 'The Haven Gardens'. Mr. Butchart was a Canadian who lost both his legs at Vimy Ridge during the First World War. He enlisted the help of local school children to make paths and care for the plants. The picture below is a copy of an original postcard from the Haven Gardens, as Mr. Butchart was the first person to open the garden to the public.
Photo taken in 1960s
After 24 years, Mr. Butchart retired to Garstang and in 1953 the house was bought by Ronald and Phyllis Bowker who continued to work enthusiastically in the garden before moving to New Zealand to join their relatives.
In 1986, Albert and Judith Smith bought the house. They changed the name to 'Highfield' after the area near Wigan where Albert was born. Like their predecessors, the Smiths were keen gardeners and Albert used the beautiful backdrops for his photography business.
In 1996 Barry and Marlene Smith bought a strip of land between 'Highfield' and 'Burnside'.
Access was through a small gate in the hedge on Snowhill Lane. They visited every weekend, enjoying the garden until 'Highfield' came up for sale in 1999.
It took 8 years to complete the house. The garden is an on-going project which is always developing.