Open Gardens Squares Weekend is just around the corner! On Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June, you can explore over 200 private, secret and tucked away gardens across London.
Our Mixed Borders Poets have taken up residence in 16 of the Open Gardens dotted across London. They’ve been visiting their gardens for the last month (and you can read a little about what they’ve been up to here and here), plotting poems and hashing plans for their visitors this weekend.
So if you’d like to visit the Mixed Borders Poets this weekend, here’s a list of where you can find who – happy garden hunting!
Ann Perrin is at Postman’s Park (nearest tube station St Paul’s). Postman’s Park is home to the famous Watts memorial, built in 1900 by Victorian painter and philanthropist GF Watts (1817-1904).
Carol Rowntree Jones is at Core Landscapes Pop Up Garden and Plant Nursery on Silvertown Way, a community plant nursery and ‘pop-up’ garden with a difference – it can move!
Clarissa Aykroyd is at Red Cross by Borough High Street, a small but delightful garden that was originally laid out in 1887 on the site of a derelict paper factory by Octavia Hill, the Victorian philanthropist and co-founder of the National Trust.
Ellen Cranitch is at Christchurch Greyfriars Rose Garden, near St Pauls’, which in the Middle Ages was the site of a Franciscan monastery, and today’s garden is on the site of the Franciscan Church of Greyfriars (1225).
Hilaire is at Mordon Hall Park . The Hall is not actually taking part in Open Garden Square Weekend, so Hilaire’s residency is set to be more open ended than the others – you might be able to visit her twice!
Ian McEwen is at Arlington Square, which before the 1950s was an unkempt open space, used during WW2 for trench shelters and barrage balloon moorings.
John Grant is at Osterley House Gardens near Osterley Station, the last remaining country estate in London with farm, parkland, gardens, 18th-century mansion and a Tudor stable block. The site, which covers 350 acres, is just eight miles from Hyde Park Corner.
Julia Bird is at Nomura International PLC, a 525,000 sq.ft development occupying the largest area of open riverside space in the City of London.. The sixth-floor terrace and gardens – the size of eight tennis courts – has unobstructed, panoramic views of the river Thames.
Mary Dickins is at St Mary’s Secret Garden, near Hoxton, a community garden covering three-quarters of an acre.
Mike Sims is at Winchmore Hill Friends Meeting House and Burial Ground, where there has been a Quaker Meeting on this site since 1688 and the present grade II-listed building is dated 1790 (nearest station Winchmore Hill).
Natalie Shaw is at Fenton House, the extensive walled gardens of a 17th-century manor house with formal walks and lawns, a rose garden, kitchen garden and a historic orchard.
Penny Hope is at Red House near Bexleyheath, a simple garden and orchard surrounding the only house commissioned, created and lived in by William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Sam Meekings is at Bunhill Fields by Old Street Station, a former Dissenters’ burial ground of four hectares, laid out as a public garden in the 1870s.
Sara Benaim is at The Olden Community Garden (near Highbury & Islington), It is a haven for wildlife, an oasis of quiet amongst the hustle and bustle of Islington and a great source of pride to Highbury.
Stephanie Norgate is at Fann Street Wildlife Garden, one of the private residents’ gardens on the Barbican Estate and is recognised as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.
Tony Lucas is at St Dunstans in the East, opened by the City of London in 1971, and claimed to be the most beautiful public garden in the City. It is set within a grade II-listed ruined Victorian wall, the site now forms part of the parish of nearby All Hallows by the Tower.
Will Barrett is at Eastbury Manor House, a grade I listed Elizabethan manor with well-preserved walled gardens – a hidden gem.
You can buy your tickets for the Open Garden Squares Weekend and find out all the details here.
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