Open Garden Squares Weekend 2015
Hidden and little known gardens in our bustling capital were celebrated during Open Garden Squares Weekend 2015, an annual weekend of garden discovery. Seven of the gardens we look after took part.
The weekend aims to increase awareness and appreciation of London’s green and open spaces and provide fresh inspiration for gardeners. Organised by the London Parks & Gardens Trust, 224 gardens across 27 London boroughs opened their gates on 13 and 14 June.
Gardens range from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental. Visitors were able to explore private gardens, roof gardens and community allotments and the gardens of historic buildings, institutions, cafes, schools and shops.
Highlights included the garden at Number 10 Downing Street, the popular roof garden at the Nomura International Building, which has glorious sweeping views across the City, and garden barges floating on the River Thames in London’s Docklands.
A host of leafy London squares including Cleveland, Eccleston, Eton, Fitzroy and Mecklenburgh were also open to the public and it was possible to tread the turf at Highbury Stadium Square, the contemporary garden created in the former Arsenal football ground at Highbury Stadium.
Our participating gardens
Garden fans were also be able to visit the peaceful walled garden at Thomas Carlyle’s House in the heart of old Chelsea, the formal gardens of Fenton House in Hampstead, the grand gardens of Ham House on the River Thames in Richmond and the extensive gardens at Osterley in Isleworth.
William Morris’ garden and orchard at Red House in Bexleyheath, the well-preserved herb and walled gardens at Eastbury Manor House in Barking and the delightful gardens at Rainham Hall on the eastern fringes of London also took part.
Tickets, tours and activities
There will be guided cycling and walking tours visiting the gardens which will host family-friendly activities, plant sales and pop-up events. Poets and writers in residence will also be drawing inspiration from the gardens and the people who maintain them as part of a new initiative with The Poetry School.
Tickets for Open Garden Squares Weekend are on sale at www.opensquares.org and cost £10 in advance or £12 if bought on the day (under 12s go free). National Trust members get a 25% discount.