Open Garden Squares Weekend

If every picture speaks a thousand words, then seeing something in the flesh must be worth two thousand. This weekend marks the start of this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend – the only time to have a snoop around exclusive gardens that aren’t normally open to the public. Over 200 gardens across 27 London boroughs will open their doors to the likes of you and me. We’re being given full permission to satisfy our curiosity and when it’s all in the name of inspiration, it would be rude not to oblige…

There’s something for everyone from medicinal gardens to garden squares and rooftop gardens. To truly appreciate what the city has to offer, you’ll have to make a visit but here’s a snippet of what you can expect to find.

Fassett Square – Inner London’s Hackney

Famed for being the inspiration for BBC1’s EastEnders set design, the square has a typical Victorian layout. The paths wind around flowerbeds and lawns and there are original lime trees dotted around its edges. On the North-West corner, you’ll find Bruno Court where a former hospital building has been converted into flats. If the Victorian paths don’t hold your interest, the roof terrace will with its panoramic view over London.


Image Source: House to Home

MaRoCoCo Garden – Central London’s Belgravia

The MaRoCoCo Garden is the work of RoCoCo Chocolates’ founder Chantal Coady. For those looking to create a garden that’s rich in culture and personality, the Moroccan influenced garden is ideal. A tiled mosaic depicts a typical Moroccan pattern and the garden’s chocolate connections come through in the planting choices. Fragrant plants including rose, mint and kaffir lime have their own place in an asymmetric courtyard. A big part of Moroccan design is those shiny accessories – from tiles to mirrors, so those looking to incorporate a mirror or two can learn from the mirrored courtyard on display here.

Ham House and Garden – South West London

While many gardens offer fruit and vegetables, not many offer cherry as their fruit of choice. Ham House and Garden stands out amongst the crowd, with its cherry garden accompanying lavender parterres. Traditional hornbeam hedges weave like mazes around the space and you can track the garden’s restoration from the 17th century. If your garden needs a lot of work, you’ll find plenty of encouragement here!

Image Source: NGS

The Phoenix Garden – Central London’s Covent Garden

We all know that one of the hardest parts of gardening is choosing plants that are right for the environment. The Phoenix Garden promises to teach us just that, by creating a visual display within one of London’s harshest environments. Clematis is scattered amongst bramble and you can pick out warm nettles amongst purple elders. While there are the new wildlife ponds to see, it’s the walls that are my must-see. The retaining walls are built from recycled newspapers, while the gabion dry-stone walls make good use of bomb rubble. With our new eco-friendly mindset, we’re reminded that almost anything can be a work of art.

All we need is a bit of imagination and the Open Garden Squares have done their utmost to fire it…

London’s Open Garden Squares Weekend runs from 8-9th June 2013. Weekend tickets can be bought online, where you’ll find a full list of the gardens open for visiting.

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