London Square Open Gardens Weekend saw more than 100 hidden green spaces across the capital unlocked for the public to visit, with thousands of people enjoying a wide range of gardens, from formal garden squares to community gardens created by volunteers.
London Square was the title sponsor of the event, which took place for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic and is organised by the London Gardens Trust, which campaigns to protect green spaces and landscapes.
The London Square team celebrated the event by joining volunteers and local residents on a rooftop oasis, created on top of a former car park on the Doddington Estate in Battersea. The half-acre roof garden is divided into five areas containing edible crops, butterfly-friendly plants and fig, cherry and apple trees. Local residents grow produce for their own use and also share it with the local community. Garden organiser Malissa Ritchie pointed out many trees and shrubs which had been donated by gardens such as Kew, Chelsea Physic Garden and Battersea Park.
Jo McDonagh, Group Sales and Marketing Director, London Square, said: “We met so many lovely people who are working really hard to create an amazing garden for local residents to enjoy, whether growing vegetables or enjoying a quiet spot to relax. It was a wonderful afternoon and great to see so many people enjoying the sun, the food and the gardens.”
There was a delicious barbecue, organised with the STORM Family Centre, who run vital services for people in the area including a lunch club for the elderly, plus freshly pressed juices and salads by Vibes, the local café and ice cream by local shop Oddonos.
Nathan Oley, chair, London Square Open Gardens, said: “We were thrilled to be back, working with volunteers across 100 green spaces to open usually closed gardens and raise funds to protect them. Doddington is a fantastic example of how vital green space is for the health of every community.”
A range of historic, traditional, contemporary and experimental gardens took part, from private squares and rooftop terraces with commanding views of the city skyline, as well as community allotments and wildlife havens.
Amongst those open were the stunning Pembridge Square, near Hyde Park, Ladbroke Square, Notting Hill, the historic Lincoln’s Inn, Holborn, celebrating its 600th anniversary in 2022 and Montague Street Gardens, an historic secret garden at the heart of elegant Bloomsbury.
Nomura International Plc’s roof garden offered visitors breathtaking views from the south bank of the River Thames. Visitors relaxed in Southwark Cathedral’s Deanery, a secret riverside garden beside the Globe Theatre.
Adam Lawrence, chief executive, London Square, said: "London’s green areas are more important than ever. We were delighted to support the event which gave everyone the opportunity to enjoy the capital’s hidden gardens.”