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Open Garden Squares Weekend returns

Now in its 20th year, the annual Open Garden Squares Weekend recently took place in London. On the weekend of 17-18 June, green space enthusiasts both young and old had the opportunity to peek at a number of seldom-seen gardens in the capital.

The gardens

237 gardens across 27 boroughs allowed entry to the public at this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend in London. According to Open Squares, the event attracted a wide mix of gardens, some of which were private, some that do not normally open at weekends, and others that open but may be considered hidden gems. In the gardens that normally open, a range of activities were organised, including puppet shows, walks or exhibitions.

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Whatever type of garden you might be interested in, be it traditional, contemporary, experimental or wildlife friendly, the beauty of this event is that there is something to suit everyone. From traditional private squares to contemporary roof gardens, barges, skips, allotments, schools and museums, the sheer variety of gardens that opened to the public highlights just how diverse London’s green spaces are.


Although every garden that opened its gates to the public had something special to offer, a number of rarely-glimpsed gardens were a highlight this year. The garden of Number 10 Downing Street featured, as did the Dean of Southwark Cathedral’s private garden, The Deanery, the Royal College of Physicians’ medicinal garden, Nomura International’s rooftop garden, and The Master’s Garden. For film buffs, the garden that featured in Notting Hill was also open for public viewing.

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The Open Garden Squares Weekend event is not just for those who want to nose around seldom-seen green spaces; in addition, it gives visitors a chance to be inspired by a range of garden ideas they can incorporate into their own outdoor areas. This may be the addition of a summer house or gazebo from a company such as http://www.morrowsectionalbuildings.com/summer_houses, which provides summer houses in Northern Ireland, or clever use of planting for small spaces, upcycling materials or creating spaces for entertaining outdoors.

In addition to garden inspiration, the event included live music, talks on bee keeping and urban farming, a botanical art workshop, exhibitions, and herbal tea making. For those wanting to cool down from the summer sun, a pop-up gin garden serving gin and tonic ice cream provided a refreshing treat.


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