Open Squares in London, no.2

The 4.5 acres of Belgrave Square were planted by Thomas Cubitt in 1826 – today it is quite simply stunning – parkland in the centre of London for residents of the square.

Belgrave Square

Eaton Square was started in 1826 for the Duke of Westminster, the landowner.

Eaton Square

Eaton Square

Chester Square was laid out in 1828-40 by the first Duke of Westminster and his architect, Thomas Cundy.

15-6-14 Open Squares LR-5253

15-6-14 Open Squares Low Res-2787

St Michael's Church, Chester Square

Eccleston Square dates from 1928 when Thomas Cubitt designed a 3-acre garden to replace the existing swamp. Today the garden is filled with unusual plants and trees and includes the National Ceanothus Collection.

Eccleston Square

15-6-14 Open Squares LR-5260

 

Open Squares in London, no.1

I visited several squares on Sunday 14 June – all amazing! Kensington Square is one of the earliest garden squares in London, with layout beginning in 1692.

Kensington Square
Kensington Square
Kensington Square
Kensington Square

Queen’s Gate Gardens was laid out in the 1860s and we were asked to note the mulberry tree and the catalpa, both from the original plantings.

Hereford Square was built between 1845-50 and is actively managed by the residents, with many interesting and beautiful plants and trees.

The Hereford Arms at Hereford Square

Hereford Square
Hereford Square

Hereford Square

You may be interested in
Kensington Square
The history of Kensington Square

The Roof Gardens, Kensington

Sunday 14 June, the second day of the Open Squares Weekend, started very early at The Roof Gardens on Kensington High Street – what a fantastic place!

The former Derry  Toms Building
The former Derry Toms building

The Roof Gardens covers 1.5 acres on the roof of the former Derry and Toms building on Kensington High Street and is now owned by Sir Richard Branson. In 1853 Joseph Toms started the small department store on Kensington High Street which became Derry and Toms in 1862 and which has changed ownership several times over the years. Trevor Bowen, Vice President of Barkers commissioned the gardens from Ralph Hancock and work started in 1936, with the gardens opening in 1938. Today the gardens remain open to the public.

https://kasiacharko.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-roof-garden-derry-and-toms-summer-1973/
https://kasiacharko.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-roof-garden-derry-and-toms-summer-1973/

We entered through the Spanish Garden which is modelled on the Alhambra in Granada.

The Spanish Gardens
The Spanish Gardens

The Tudor Gardens are planted with white – roses, arum lilies, paeonies, philadelphus – beautiful and peaceful.

The Tudor Gardens
The Tudor Gardens

The Tudor Gardens

The English Garden has lawns, trees, flamingoes, and a stream!

The English Gardens
The English Gardens
The view from the English Gardens
The view from the English Gardens

You may be interested in
Historic photographs of The Roof Gardens
The Roof Gardens
Interesting blog post on the Gardens & Ralph
Hancock

 

Beech Gardens, Barbican, London

Beech Gardens, EC2Y 8DH, in the Barbican is a new garden and I think it will be very exciting in a few years’ time. The garden is open to the public as it is on and alongside a walkway through the Barbican, but I hadn’t seen it for a few years and took the opportunity of the Open Squares & Gardens Weekend to revisit. I love the planting which looks ‘wild’ and free, and I love the colour mix.

Open Squares & Gardens in the City

I visited gardens in the City of London during the Open Squares & Gardens Weekend and although Saturday 13 June (!) was cold and grey there were wonderful sights.

St Joseph’s Garden, EC1 8LE, is a tiny, quiet, green space.

St Josephs Garden
St Josephs Garden

The Golden Baggers, EC1Y 0ST, is a really imaginative enterprise in the middle of a housing estate where builders’ hessian bags are used as above-ground growing beds. It made my fingers itch to start a new garden!

The Golden Baggers
The Golden Baggers

You may be interested in
St Joseph’s Garden
The Golden Baggers

Girdlers’ Livery Company Almshouses

I visited the enclosed garden of the Girdlers’ Livery Company in the City over the weekend, as part of Open Squares & Gardens in London, and today I searched out the Company’s Almshouses in the Borough of Southwark, in Consort Road SE15 3SD. A brief history of the almshouses is here. As at the Livery Hall the gardens were pretty, with lovely roses.

15-6-16 Girdlers Almshouses LR-2969

15-6-16 Girdlers Almshouses LR-2958

15-6-16 Girdlers Almshouses LR-2967

Christchurch Greyfriars

This past weekend Open Garden Squares in London has allowed Londoners to visit squares and gardens normally closed to the general public, and although it has been cold and damp the gardens have been absolutely beautiful! Thank you so much to London Parks & Gardens Trust for organising this annual event. I managed to visit over a dozen gardens and loved every minute of the weekend.