Rainham Hall

Rainham Hall in early June

Rainham Hall was built in 1729 for Captain John Harle and is adjacent to the Church of St Helen and St Giles in Havering. Next to the Hall are the stables and Lodge. Captain John Harle (1688-1742) was a Master Mariner, ship owner, and who traded in building materials, coal, and foodstuffs around the UK and as…

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Olympic Park or The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to give it its full name, is an initiative of the London Legacy Development Corporation to create a new residential, cultural, and business centre in the East End of London around the buildings of the Olympic Games of 2012.

Core Landscapes & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Core Landscapes is an extraordinary social-purpose nursery lying between the Royal London Hospital and the redbrick St Augustine with St Philip’s Church, just off the Whitechapel Road in Tower Hamlets. In their own words: ‘…Core Landscapes transforms meanwhile spaces to promote positive mental health for all. We are a permanent movable garden and plant nursery using horticulture…

Cranbrook Community Garden & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Cranbrook Community Garden is on the Cranbrook Estate which was designed by Francis Skinner, Douglas Bailey and Berthold Lubetkin. The area was heavily bombed during the war and had much inadequate Victorian housing as well. After war damage was cleared the Council commissioned this ambitious new estate in 1955, opening in 1963. The Community Garden started c.10…

Approach Gardens & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Approach Community Gardens looks more like parkland than allotments – this is a must-visit on Sunday 10 June during Open Garden Squares Weekend! As you walk down the road towards the garden the roses are poking through the railings and you know it is going to be beautiful. The gardens were renovated just two years ago…

Cody Dock & Open Garden Squares Weekend

During Open Garden Squares Weekend I hope you will visit Winterton House, Cable Street, and Crossrail Place Roof Garden north of the River Thames and all accessed from the DLR, to see how neglected sites and areas can be regenerated through hard work, effort, and of course investment. Cody Dock, on the River Lea, is going to…

Arnold Circus & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Arnold Circus is at the centre of the Boundary Estate, which started building in 1890 and was one of the earliest social housing developments. The Friends of Arnold Circus have renovated the bandstand and now care for the planting and wildlife on the site. This is a quiet spot, well-used, and just a few minutes away…

Garden Barges & Open Garden Squares Weekend

The Garden Barges at Tower Bridge are floating homes with gardens on the rooftops and gangways, and if you haven’t yet visited you should do so this year – the planting is looking gorgeous! Over the past year gardener Sophie Tatzkow has done a wonderful job and I look forward to seeing more of her…

The Shed, Stave Hill

Stave Hill Ecology Park & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Stave Hill Ecology Park has been developed in the former Surrey Commercial Docks in South London as part of the regeneration of the area by the LDDC. The Shed is the HQ of the Park and an ongoing and never-ending centre for conservation, education, and development. The work done here, by one person with teams…

Fassett Square, Hackney

Fassett Square & Open Garden Squares Weekend

One of the many pleasures of Open Garden Squares Weekend is to ‘discover’ a beautiful garden in an unexpected setting. Fassett Square is such a pleasure – a modest garden square enclosed by railings in a mix of Victorian and 20C buildings is green and lush with some pretty plant combinations. You know this will…