Gar­dens ap­pear in strange places

Sip flo­ral cock­tails and hon­eyed beer as you tour Lon­don’s Open Gar­den Squares this week­end Events and tick­ets

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Outdoors - Pat­tie Bar­ron

LON­DON’S ex­clu­sive squares, se­cret gar­dens and green spa­ces, many not usu­ally open to the pub­lic, fling their gates wide this Satur­day and Sun­day un­der the Open Gar­den Squares Week­end. Founded 20 years ago by Lon­doner Car­o­line Ald­iss when she wanted to share her own home square, Kens­ing­ton’s Colling­ham Gar­dens, and or­gan­ised by the Lon­don Parks and Gar­dens Trust, the city’s great gar­den show now em­braces not just our finest squares but more than 230 gar­dens across 27 Lon­don bor­oughs.

So as well as sip­ping cava and cock­tails in Cleve­land Square, savour­ing the cel­e­brated rose col­lec­tion at Eccleston Square or ly­ing on the lawns and lis­ten­ing to a poetry read­ing in Markham Square, you can cherry- pick from na­ture re­serves and bee havens, rooftops and glasshouses, parks, or­chards, city farms, al­lot­ments, barge gar­dens and herb gar­dens, monas­tic clois­ters and se­cret court­yards.

New­com­ers this year in­clude two ac­caimed roof gar­dens by Bar­ing As­set Man­age­ment at Bish­ops­gate, the north­ern ter­race in­spired by Asia, the south­ern by Europe, and Ha­chette’s award-win­ning rooftop with stretches of lawn, English coun­try gar­den plant­ing and sen­sa­tional views to­wards the Tower and Lon­don Eye.

Other gar­dens-in-the-sky to visit this week­end in­clude the dy­namic roof gar­den at the Bar­bican Cen­tre, de­signed by cli­mate change ex­pert Pro­fes­sor Nigel Dun­nett, and the gar­den above Ca­nary Wharf’s Cross­rail sta­tion, which has both strik­ing ar­chi­tec­ture and land­scape in­spired by the wharf’s mar­itime her­itage.

Seek­ing ideas for your own patch? You will find plenty of plant­ing in­spi­ra­tion at the In­ner Tem­ple Gar­den, which has changed dra­mat­i­cally since its con­cep- tion in the 12th cen­tury, thanks to head gar­dener An­drea Brun­sendorf, whose peren­nial and con­tainer plant­ings could scoop Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show. In­stead of us­ing hum­drum ter­ra­cotta pots, get more orig­i­nal con­tainer ideas from Roof East, on a car park atop the Strat­ford Shop­ping Cen­tre, where colour­ful shrubs and saplings spring from planters of re­cy­cled pal­lets, deck­ing from the Olympic Park foot­bridge and even vin­tage sports cars, al­though th­ese might be trick­ier to source.

If sleek min­i­mal­ism is more your style, you will ap­pre­ci­ate the modern gar­den at Arse­nal’s for­mer High­bury Sta­dium. Join a pre-booked tour of pre­ci­sion­clipped hedg­ing cubes, con­tem­po­rary wa­ter fea­tures and pris­tine geo­met­ric lawns framed with Per­spex walls.

One of the first low-rise, high-den­sity hous­ing es­tates in Lon­don, Lilling­ton and Long­moore’s award-win­ning gar­dens will show­case their sen­sory gar­den with bub­ble foun­tain, clas­sic mixed bor­ders, Mediter­ranean drought plants, a chil­dren’s gar­den and an ex­otic bor­der with yuc­cas, palms, agaves and can­nas. All this, plus a wildlife pond and peren­nial mead­ows, in the heart of Pim­lico.

South­wark Cathe­dral, Lon­don’s old­est Gothic church, of­fers a botan­i­cal trail with a dif­fer­ence: all the plants in the church­yard and herb gar­den have bib­li­cal and Shake­spearean con­nec­tions, but then the Bard him­self wor­shipped here and his brother, Ed­mund, is buried within the grounds.

When is a weed a wild­flower? Find out on a na­ture trail at Haringey’s Rail­way Fields, the for­mer goods yard that is

Plant­ing ideas: left, en­joy the gar­dens at Cleve­land Square in W2 by day, then take your tour east and in­dulge in a herbin­fused cock­tail as the sun sets Gar­den­ing prob­lems?

Buzzing: study the hives, sam­ple the honey and drink the beer at Ken­ning­ton’s Bee Ur­ban plot, left

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