On June 17 London’s Open Garden Square Weekend celebrates the city’s little-known green spaces when around 200 “private” gardens will be opened to the public.
Palaces, prestigious garden squares, roofs and community gardens all take part.
In Hammersmith, the residents of Hammersmith United Charities’ two sheltered housing schemes will be showing off their gardens as part of the weekend. Located in streets off Goldhawk Road, John Betts House and Sycamore House keep the delights of their award winning gardens almost as quiet as the neighbourhoods they are part of.
The garden of Sycamore House was designed by the charity’s community gardener, Jackie Thompson who started work on it when the extended sheltered housing scheme was opened in 2012. Last year the garden was among the prize winners in the “Large Garden” category of the London Garden Society’s annual awards. Speaking about the garden Jackie said: “I’ve set out to create an oasis of tranquillity which blends colour from flowering plants with that from fruit. With the help of some very dedicated residents here, we have made a garden which is both relaxing and interesting.”
Ten minutes further down Goldhawk Road, John Betts House garden – award winner in last year’s London Garden Society small community garden category – offers a very different feel. The garden's centrepiece is a series of arches which were planted to create a blowsy, flowing feel, with the plants and grasses spilling over the central path, brushing by visitors as they pass. This year the garden at John Betts House will be part of the Hidden Gems Competition. Visitors will be able to take part in a treasure hunt around several gardens across the city to be in with a chance of winning afternoon tea at Duck Island Cottage.
Commenting on the open gardens event, Tim Hughes, Chief Executive of Hammersmith United Charities said: “I am immensely proud of our gardens. I see them as one of the charity’s greatest assets. They contribute very significantly to the wellbeing of our residents – and indeed to the wellbeing of everyone who visits or works at the two alms-houses. They are a tribute to Jackie and her resident volunteers and the open garden square weekend is one of the highlights of our calendar.”
The residents of John Betts House and Sycamore House invite you to enjoy their gardens with a cup of tea and homemade cakes on the afternoon of June 17.
Hammersmith United Charities has been helping local people in Hammersmith since 1618. It supports local people to build their confidence, develop their skills, connects people and strengthens relationships and neighbourliness within the community.
Visit the gardens on Saturday, June 17:
Sycamore House – Sycamore Gardens – W6 0AS London
John Betts House – Rylett Road – W12 9NJ London
Doors will be open from 2-5pm, a ticket at the door is £4 for both gardens or you can buy a ticket for the whole weekend in advance for £13 at www.opensquares.org. Proceeds go to London parks and open spaces. There will be tea, coffee, homemade cake and a plant sale.