For two centuries, the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens drew enormous crowds for its circus acts, balloon rides, orchestral concerts and spectacular fireworks. For those in the know, however, the darker paths, wooded corners and intimate arbours were used for more illicit and illegal entertainments. But now it's 1850 and the gardens are in their dying days. Yet still the faithful come... Tom Reckless, a handsome young gardener, is torn between the affections of a hopelessly romantic shipping clerk and a sexually voracious aristocratic couple. With the gardens closing and his livelihood under threat, will Tom choose a bohemian life with Ralph; employment with the unorthodox Lord and Lady Lovelock; or answer the drumbeat of a looming overseas war?