Secret Gardens

Hands up if you recognise this garden. If you do, congratulate yourself. You have immersed yourself in Greenwich well enough to confidently enter the Phantom Pub Quiz (if it existed, which sadly it doesn’t…) and you will have almost certainly met one of the town’s most fascinating characters. (scroll to the bottom for two more…)

If you’re still scratching your head, worry not. Your chance will come. Every other year, St Alfege’s church restoration fund holds a magnificent Open Gardens Scheme where fabulous back yards are opened for one weekend only.

2014 is an ‘off year’ though and I was a bit deflated – until I got an email from Greenwich and Bexley Coomunity Hospice about THEIR weekend which is Glorious Greenwich Gardens and then some…

I am staggered by the amount of gardens open next weekend (15th & 16th June) and, unlike the St Alfege one which is fantastic but only (generally) within the Parish, this one covers a much, much wider area.

The visits are in ‘clusters’ – in West Greenwich, Blackheath, Eltham Park and Charlton and frankly, I don’t know where to tell you to start. There’s no way you could enjoy all these gardens (I guess you could SEE them all, but not enjoy them…) but you can have a good go.

Maybe G&BCH could create a ‘passport’ so people can collect all the gardens over the years??? Being a kid at heart there’s nothing this Phantom enjoys more than a little booklet and a rubber stamp…

It’s fantastic value – £3 a garden – but £10 for an unlimited ‘festival ticket’.

St Alfege’s is still the best if you just want to see Greenwich Gardens – but hey – if these two worthy projects can do alternate years, then we don’t have to choose.

There is one other project on next weekend, in the same vein, that you must not miss.

You’ll need to squeeze in, alongside all those other gardens, the fabulous riverside corner at Ballast Quay. Designed and built by Hilary Peters in the 1960s, she’ll be there, as will be sculpture by Brian Greaves, the blacksmith who lives on a boat and and Kevin Herlihy who designed and built the Foot & Mouth Memorial, home made teas by the neighbours and an exhibition of Ballast Quay history in THAT shed.

And for anyone interested in Lovell’s Wharf there will be a rare opportunity to snaffle a copy of Mary Mills’s new pamphlet on the history of the immediate area. It’s not actually available anywhere else at the moment, so get your backside over to Ballast Quay if you want one.

The event is from 10.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday and Sunday (my advice: go there before the Greenwich & Bexley Hospice shindig in the afternoon).

And if that isn’t enoug open gardens for one weekend, you can always travel further afield to Open Garden Squares, throughout South East London the same couple of days…

What’s I hear you gardeners saying about ‘feast and famine’?

the attachments to this post:


rear garden
rear garden

2 Comments to “Secret Gardens”

  1. ALEX K says:

    14 Crooms Hill Garden..

    Had an epic party there when we lived in attic flat..

  2. ALEX K says:

    But…..beware of the tea. It’s made from recycled Iceland tea bags