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 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 –
and out through the wet and steaming tropical rain forests.
The 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 Gunneras were amazing, growing along the River, as were the tree ferns, the bamboos, and the magnolias. It was all beautiful.
Above all there are numerous unusual and beautiful trees.
Brest Conservatoire National Botanique
Cable Street Community Garden will be open again this year, on Sunday 18 June, during the Open Garden Squares Weekend. This 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.
What an amazing place! The Garden Barges will be open to the public during the Open Garden Squares Weekend of 18 and 19 June – do visit! Gardens are tucked into all corners of the moored barges, and there are even bee hives – magical!
Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens lies just behind Table Mountain in Cape Town and I wrote about the history of the Gardens on London Traveller. Here I am going to indulge myself further in enjoying the scenery and the plants.
The Tulip Trees, Liriodendron Tulipifera, are absolutely stunning right now in Greenwich Park.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The flowers were abundant everywhere, and the roses were particularly beautiful.
There were large, park-like gardens, wilderness areas, town gardens, courtyards, a gravel garden – all absolutely beautiful.
And there were interesting plants
Halesworth is a very old town and I need to explore further!
You may be interested in
The history of Halesworth
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.