Over 130 of London’s most exclusive and unique gardens opening for Open Garden Squares Weekend in 2019 – including the garden at Number 10 Downing Street
Open Garden Squares Weekend: Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June 2019
This June, over 130 London gardens will open for public fascination and enjoyment as part of Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019. London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend allows members of the public to visit and explore some of the capitals most exciting private gardens, and to take part in a whole range of special events, activities and tours.
The Weekend is organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust to highlight the significant social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens, squares and green spaces make to the capital and the well-being of its inhabitants, many not usually accessible to the general public. Visitors can explore a vast range of gardens, including traditional and historic as well as new and experimental. There are wildlife gardens, community gardens and allotments, medicinal gardens, gardens on rooftops, in schools, hospitals, churches and on railway platforms.
Tickets go on sale at midday on 12 February. Advance tickets are priced £15 and available from opensquares.org. A single ticket gains access to all gardens (excluding those with special conditions for entry) for both Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June. A ticket bought after the 8 May is priced £20. Children under 12 go free.
This year, the garden of Number 10 Downing Street will be available via a public ballot. Number 10 Downing Street is the official residence and office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and also the place where the Prime Minister welcomes guests – from Her Majesty The Queen to world leaders, businesses and charities. The terrace and garden at Downing Street were constructed in 1736 shortly after Walpole moved into Number 10. Entry by public ballot, no purchase necessary, see opensquares.org to enter.
New gardens for 2019 include contemporary Islamic gardens at the Aga Khan Centre in King’s Cross, the historic gardens of Bell House in Dulwich, Community Garden Cluster – kitchen gardens created on a disused railway platform at Kensington Olympia, Oasis Farm in Waterloo, which includes a private walled garden designed by Dan Pearson, Knight’s Walk Community Garden – a tranquil growing space tucked away from the bustle of Elephant & Castle, Montague Street Gardens – a glorious Georgian garden in Bloomsbury and the ornamental kitchen roof garden with views to Westminster Cathedral designed by Adam Frost at the homeless charity The Passage in SW1.
Other highlights include Nomura International’s roof-top gardens with vegetable patch and water features, the private rooftop terraces of Cannon Bridge Roof Gardens – the perfect example of planting for biodiversity right in the heart of the city, and the artisan studios and green urban oasis created at Iliffe Yard in Elephant & Castle. There are flourishing productive gardens at Winterton House Organic, Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments, Alara Permaculture Forest Garden, King Henry’s Walk Garden and the Cranbrook Community Food Garden. Many premier garden squares take part including Eaton Square, whose past residents include actress Vivien Leigh and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Bryanston Square, Cleveland Square, Kensington Square and Warwick Square. Explore medical gardens at the British Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians’ Medicinal Garden and wildlife gardens at Melissa Garden Bee Sanctuary, Barnsbury Wood and Barbican Wildlife Garden. All private, but opening their gates to visitors over the Weekend.
Ruth Holmes, Chair of the London Parks & Gardens Trust, organisers of the event, said: “I am so looking forward to Open Garden Squares Weekend. It’s a tour de force of the diversity and creativity that sum up our capital city. We have the full range, from historic and traditional to the new and experimental; including community gardens, allotment gardens, medicinal gardens, wildlife gardens, gardens on rooftops, train platforms and in skips. For anyone who has ever wanted their own space, this is a chance to get into dozens of usually closed green spaces and a celebration of the importance of nature to our health and wellbeing. There is something to inspire and excite everyone!”
A full list of the 2019 gardens can be viewed by visiting opensquares.org
Tickets are available to purchase here
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