Favourite Phantom Front Gardens (2)


Maze Hill, SE10

This is about half way down Maze Hill (I couldn’t see a number for all the greenery…)

Whoever lives here must spend half their life out the front – the garden is tiny – a few square feet at best -but this hasn’t prevented the owners from treating it like some kind of stately home.

On the adjoining side of the semi, well-managed trees create a frame – I’m sure there’s a eucalyptus in there, but it’s kept under tight control and adds a wispy curtain in front of a maple(?) that’s also been heavily-clipped. A date palm and cyprus give it a lush depth which only a serious plantsman would know how to create. At the centre, topiary pom-poms shoot up like a sort of mad green fountain and by the drive there are more well-clipped shrubs. The whole thing is softened by a cascade of annuals and a background of climbing roses and I love it.

It’s worth walking past this house for no other reason than its sheer exuberance. These people have not let the fact that they only have a garden the size of a (ladies) handkerchief in which to express themselves get in the way of putting on a display for passers-by that puts the owners of far bigger places to shame. Not a blade of grass is left to chance, not a leaf is out of place, not a rose left un-deadheaded. The colours are restrained, but exquisite and the whole is a country house garden in miniature. It’s a complete opposite to the fabulous cottage garden up at St Johns, Favourite Front Gardens (1) but nevertheless a brilliant gem to stumble upon.

I can only guess what the back garden is like, but in the meanwhile, how generous of the owners to give the rest of us a free show…


One Comment to “Favourite Phantom Front Gardens (2)”

  1. [...] shape or style the garden’s in – if it gives me pleasure, then it can be anything from formal to country, quirky to artificial – I still mourn the loss of this one in Whitworth [...]