Brockley Cemetery

Years ago a cemetery would have been an unlikely place to include amongst gardens, but as the years have passed they are increasingly seen to have potential as wild gardens as well as gardens of remembrance. Brockley Cemetery in Lewisham certainly fits this bill. The two cemeteries, Brockley and Ladywell, cover an area of 37 acres in total and I am going to talk about them over two posts.

Margaret McMillan Park in Deptford

London Gardens Online tells me: ‘…The park is named after Margaret McMillan who with her sister Rachel McMillan were pioneers of nursery education. Margaret McMillan Park opened in 1954 and was originally laid out between Watson’s Street and Glenville Grove with a series of lawns along Douglas Way. In the late 1980s part of the park was eroded by housing development and in 1998 improvements were carried out to the park, including a bridge by sculptor John Maine. In 2009 the park was redesigned and re-landscaped as part of Route 1 of the North Lewisham Links project, the works completed in 2010…’.

Deptford Memorial Gardens

Deptford Memorial Gardens in Lewisham are described on London Gardens Online in 2011 as consisting of ‘…three strips of formal gardens laid out on raised ground between the main road on the south side and a row of mid-C19th paired houses. At the northern end is the WWI war memorial, a Portland stone obelisk with figures of a soldier and sailor, which was unveiled in 1921.

Today the gardens form a strip of lawn within which is a series of circular, rectangular or oval flower beds with seasonal displays. A path runs through the gardens and there are a number of seats. Yew hedges and shrubbery border the garden to the south and there are a number of ornamental trees, as well as lime and horse chestnuts. The border to Lewisham Way has a scalloped retaining wall…’. (NB: the location of the gardens on a Google map at LGO is incorrect.)

Luxmore Gardens in Lewisham

I am in Luxmore Gardens in Lewisham, beginning a new project in London. Because I need to walk I am going to visit the parks, nature reserves and green spaces in Lewisham. This will encourage me to go out and which will give me photography challenges!

London launches as the first National Park City with a Festival in July 2019 and I wondered what green spaces Lewisham offers. So I decided to make a list – it is always good to start with a list and look the project in the eye! It seems to be a very long list and I am starting with something unlikely – Luxmore Gardens in Lewisham!

Dry & shady corner

I have a large laurel tree in one corner of the garden – it was meant to be a laurel bush, providing bay leaves for cooking, but I forgot to prune it… The 30-years tree was uncovered last year when the garden was restructured and it is the area in the tree’s shade which is giving me problems. It is light, not dark, and there is an hour of sunshine in the late afternoon, but that is all. I don’t want to leave it completely unplanted so I need to find plants which will flourish in these conditions.

Shady Corner
I am going to try these plants:
Acanthus Mollis – I have cuttings from the garden in Suffolk so would like to use ‘free’ plants first. The problem will be the snails – will the plants establish before they are eaten to pieces.
Cornus ‘Flaviramea’ – an unwanted bush travelled down from the Suffolk garden.
Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ – I have two bushes which I hope will establish. They grew quite well in the first year, supported by a metal hoop, and the buds are swelling nicely at the moment.

Acanthus Mollis (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Acanthus_mollis5.jpg)

Hydrangea 'Annabelle'
Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’

And underneath and roundabout I am going for plants which are reliable:
Saxifrage ‘London Pride’, Bergenia ‘Abendglut’, Euphorbia ‘Amgdaloides’, and I am thinking about Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. 
I would love to tuck in some Iris Foetidissima somewhere, and what about Myrrhis Odorata – Sweet Cicely

What do you think? Will it work?

You may be interested in
The Greener Dream – super blogsite with lots of information & source of photo of ‘London Pride’

A Shady Patio Bed in London

I am finding the Patio Bed another difficult area – semi-shaded, good soil but chalky a few feet down. I was not happy with the positioning of plants last year and so I have made some changes this year, the second year.

The shady, damp border

OK, I have made decisions and the plants are in! This is roughly the plan – the number of plants is not exact, but their position is correct.
Flint Wall Border

Shady, damp border in London

After several wonderful weeks in South Africa (more posts to come on the Botanical Gardens in SA!) I am back in London and tackling the garden which was newly planted this time last year. I left it alone to grow during 2015 and let it die down naturally over the winter – well, that is what I told myself. Never again! I resolve to tidy up in the autumn this year.

2015 Reviewed & 2016 Outlined

2015 whizzed past and for the first time I am looking back at what I have achieved and setting out some ideas for 2016 – rather late! The Enthusiastic Gardener is a refashioned site which focuses on ‘Town and Country’ gardening and enables me to include visits to other gardens and parks.

Restructuring the London garden was a very big job and after planting I left it entirely alone for the remainder of the year – Spring will be hard work and fun! In Suffolk I also planted new grasses and thinned out and look forward to seeing the new ideas taking shape in 2016.

Part of the garden in Suffolk

I visited Piet Oudolf’s garden at Pensthorpe and absolutely loved it!

Pensthorpe
Pensthorpe

Pensthorpe
Pensthorpe

And the Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne was magical, even though the hydrangeas were mainly over, and I will visit again in 2016.

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne
Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne

Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne
Parc Botanique de Haute Bretagne

I visited Wisley, Hyde Hall, Beth Chatto’s gardensand many of the gardens during the Open Squares & Gardens Weekend in London.

In 2016 I would like to achieve the following:

  • A better balance in the London planting
  • Coherent changes in Suffolk
  • Posts on the plants I am growing – where they are planted and what does, and does not, work
  • A visit to at least two historical or significant gardens

 

Greenwich Park in Autumn

I love wandering in Greenwich Park in the evenings and at the moment the autumn colours are wonderful, although winter seems just round the corner. The ring-necked parakeets and the squirrel are frenetically busy, and very noisy, gathering up the chestnuts.