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.

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 far as the Baltic Sea and the Mediterranean. He  invested in Rainham by dredging the River Ingrebourne so that ships could access Rainham from the River Thames and his ships docked at Rainham Wharf (now gone) close to his home.

The Brest National Botanical Conservation Centre

‘…The project then begins in the 1970s with the idea to create the first world botanical garden dedicated to the conservation of endangered plants – Jean-Yves Lesouëf The gardens were built in the Stang Alar Valley, previously a rubbish dump and quarry.

‘…The most precious treasures in the Botanical Conservatory Garden are found in tropical greenhouses: the largest concentration in France of endangered plants! …In the 1,000 m² of this area of ​​discovery, 95% of plants are threatened with extinction, some of them are extinct in nature. That is to say, they can no longer be found here or in other botanical gardens and conservatories…’ – what a frightening thought.

The Greenhouses lead visitors through different climatic regions of the world: from the wet tropical mountains –

to subtropical oceanic islands

through the dry tropics – 

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest

and out through the wet and steaming tropical rain forests.

Botanical Gardens in BrestThe gardens themselves are stunning and there were lots of people just wandering, sitting, running, photographing and generally enjoying the transformation of a ‘derelict’ valley into a peaceful and beautiful park.

The lake is at the Greenhouse end of the Park and seems to have been created from the quarries, fed by the river which wanders along the valley.

Botanical Gardens in Brest

Botanical Gardens in Brest

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest

The Gunneras were amazing, growing along the River, as were the tree ferns, the bamboos, and the magnolias. It was all beautiful.

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Above all there are numerous unusual and beautiful trees.

Botanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in BrestBotanical Gardens in Brest
You must visit this park if you possibly can while you are in Brittany – I would certainly return.

Further information
Brest Conservatoire National Botanique

Cable Street Community Garden

Cable Street Community Garden will be open again this year, on Sunday 18 June, during the Open Garden Squares WeekendThis peaceful site is one of several in the historic Docklands Area in London and I was lucky to have a preview this week. The site is in Hardinge Street, just off Cable Street – which is a very clear clue to the history of the area – and is c.2 acres of organic gardens on either side of the Docklands Light Railway. The gardens are locked for safety so don’t miss this opportunity to visit this remarkable and magical haven and meet its friendly gardeners.

Cable Street Gardens

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve  is a wonderful site near the North Norfolk coast. I visited in order to see the Millennium Garden designed by Piet Oudolf, but there are other gardens, walks, birds, and activities for children. And the scones and homemade cakes are very good too! Do try to visit this wonderful, magical place.

The Garden Cafe, Pensthorpe
The Garden Cafe, Pensthorpe

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

Open Gardens in Halesworth

Halesworth is a Market Town in High Suffolk and over the weekend townspeople opened their gardens in support of Air Ambulance. Walking through the town centre gives no hint of the beautiful spaces hidden away throughout the town – it was a wonderful afternoon!

Halesworth Open Gardens

The flowers were abundant everywhere, and the roses were particularly beautiful.

Halesworth Open Gardens

There were large, park-like gardens, wilderness areas, town gardens, courtyards, a gravel garden – all absolutely beautiful.

Halesworth Open Gardens

Halesworth Open Gardens

And there were interesting plants

Halesworth is a very old town and I need to explore further!

Halesworth

You may be interested in
The history of Halesworth