Lavender Pond & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Lavender Pond Nature Reserve was created round one of the holding docks for timber in the former Surrey Commercial Docks and every year the small Reserve develops under the care of its single manager, with the help of volunteers.  The Pumphouse is a striking feature in the Reserve, standing over the short channel which leads to the…

Lexham Gardens – Open Garden Squares 2016

I visited Lexham Gardens during the Open Garden Squares Weekend and it was like being on a village green as the residents were celebrating with their Annual Garden Party. Free drinks as we came through the gate – wonderful! – people chatting everywhere, and the children (and adults) enjoying a wonderful magician. Lexham Gardens is part…

Grasses in the early morning

First thing in the morning I check the garden – just to make sure it is still there! I still can’t believe what has been achieved. The grasses are flowering, and beautiful in the early sunshine.

Avery Hill Winter Garden

I was excited about seeing the Winter Garden at Avery Hill, where, I was told, ‘…The well-stocked Winter Garden is open to the public, and to the west are terraced flower gardens… The main domed structure was “flanked by fernery and conservatory, the best survival in London of such Victorian extravaganzas” (Pevsner) and it took 8 years to build.…

Sky Garden

Inspired by Nomura International PLC‘s roof garden and the Roof Gardens in Kensington, I wondered if there were any similar gardens in London, and found Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch Street, aka the ‘Walkie Talkie Building’! The garden is newly planted and needs time to develop, but there are beautiful ferns and cycads, and something I haven’t seen for a long time, Tradescantia…

Fann Street Wildlife Garden

Fann Street Wildlife Garden puzzled me slightly – perhaps my visit was too brief during the Open Squares Weekend in London. However, it was the one garden which left me thinking.

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. Eaton Square was started in 1826 for the Duke of Westminster, the landowner. Chester Square was laid out in 1828-40 by the first Duke of Westminster and his…

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. 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…

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 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…

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…