Winterton House Garden

Winterton House is a strikingly tall residential block on the Commercial Road in East London whose private garden will be open on Sunday 19 June, during Open Garden Squares Weekend – this is a ‘‘must-visit-&-linger! I was privileged recently to see this wonderful, young garden with surprises and enjoyments around every corner. The garden, hen house, and small vegetable squares are a lesson in what can be achieved by grit, determination, vision, and sheer hard work. And it is all due to two mature and extraordinary gardeners, Melvyn Smith and Ken Davis.

The new gravel garden alongside the pergola is growing strongly, planted with Bamboo and Stipa Tenuissima and is already stylishly splendid.

Gravel Garden at Winterton House

Stipa Tenuissima at Winterton House

Bamboo in the gravel garden, Winterton House

Alongside the gravel garden is The Pergola and right now the Solanum (Potato Creeper) is in full bloom and contrasting dramatically with the magenta of its neighbouring Clematis. Just imagine the clouds of blue and magenta in another year or two! This is a stylish garden, with touches of drama so do take your time to discover its intricacies and do chat to Melvyn or Ken.

The Pergola at Winterton House

Clematis over the Pergola at Winterton House

And beyond the gravel are beautiful borders, each with its own micro-climate and planting challenge.

Winterton House

Winterton House

Winterton House

Winterton House

The roses are wonderful!

Roses at Winterton House

Roses at Winterton House

Roses at Winterton HouseRoses at Winterton House

There are several varieties of Geranium in the garden.

And here I learned a good lesson – in the pond there are frogs, and the frogs control the slug population… In my own garden I am inundated with snails; would frogs cope with snails as well…?

The pond at Winterton House

In this area the Arum Lilies are safe, and there are flowers in abundance: E A Bowles Wallflower, Centranthus, Californian Poppies, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, Camomile, and many more.

Winterton House

Californian poppies at Winterton House Flag Iris at Winterton House

Arum Lilies at Winterton House

The vegetable garden is adjacent to, but separate from, the flower garden. The small plots are carefully and intelligently tended. Here I learned the importance of plants which are attractive to bees. Melvyn Smith explained that since just a few of these plants have been introduced into the vegetable garden the fruit and vegetable crops have significantly increased – such a simple thing to do.

The vegetable garden at Winterton House

Bees at Winterton House

There are many splendid details in this peaceful and ever-developing garden – a must-visit during the Open Garden Squares Weekend, when you will also find music and, of course, cups of tea and cake!

A determined gardener at Winterton House
A determined gardener at Winterton House

Open: Sunday 19 June, 10:00–17:00


  1. What a little oasis these two accomplished gardeners have produced! I am sure the garden will pack in the visitors on open day!

    • I am doing the best I can and I hope the photos will increase the visitors – this garden needs to be seen, and there is another one nearby – post to come shortly

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