The 4.5 acres of Belgrave Squarewere planted by Thomas Cubitt in 1826 – today it is quite simply stunning – parkland in the centre of London for residents of the square.
Eaton Square was started in 1826 for the Duke of Westminster, the landowner.
Chester Squarewas laid out in 1828-40 by the first Duke of Westminster and his architect, Thomas Cundy.
Eccleston Squaredates 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.
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 Roof Gardenscovers 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.
We entered through the Spanish Garden which is modelled on the Alhambra in Granada.
The Tudor Gardens are planted with white – roses, arum lilies, paeonies, philadelphus – beautiful and peaceful.
The English Garden has lawns, trees, flamingoes, and a stream!
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.
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!
I visited the enclosed garden of the Girdlers’ Livery Companyin 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.
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.