Favourite Front Gardens (14)
To be fair this shouldn’t be No.14 at all, but No. 1 – as it was the first-ever Phantom Fave Front Garden way back when, but it’s still a delightful, secret little place, and still as wonderfully-kept as ever. As the paths and vistas of the river seem to be closing off to us almost by the day, finding little treasures inland is even more important, and the amount of country lanes around here often come as a bit of a surprise to new Greenwichians.
Angerstein Lane is technically in Blackheath but you know the Phantom Dictum by now – if it’s interesting, it’s automatically in Greenwich. It’s amazing what counts as Greenwich when I find something I like…
It cuts between St John’s Park and Shooter’s Hill Road (intersected by the curious Langton Way) and was clearly once the tradesman’s entrance for the giant houses along Vanbrugh Terrace, though given the high grass, I’m guessing the coach houses haven’t been used for some time.
In the spring this quiet little lane is gloriously leafy (see my earlier post) but this time of year is great to see the first of the fabulous cottage-style planting in the adopted garden of the only dwelling that’s actually on the lane, clearly owned by a serious plantsman/woman.
The photo really doesn’t do this garden justice. At the moment it’s a flurry of milk-white tulips and fluffy blossom, but in a few weeks it will be joined by a froth of forget-me-nots, before a mass of peonies take over later in the year. It’s one of my very favourite quiet joys and needs to be seen first-hand to really appreciate it.
When I went past the other day, I noticed this odd little gothic gate on the opposite side. I’m sure it’s new (the salts in the brickwork make me think that – something about modern mortar does it, I understand, but also I’ve never seen it before. On the other hand, I’m usually looking the other side.) It leads into what must be the very shady back garden of one of the big houses on Vanbrugh Terrace, and I like it because it’s so narrow – it has the feel of something really ancient.
Clearly no fat gardeners need apply.