The 9th and 10th of June will be the Open Garden Squares Weekend 2018 – London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend. The annual event allows members of the public exclusive access to some of the capital’s most exciting, private and unique gardens, and to take part in a whole range of special events and activities. Organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust, and now in its’ 21st year, the event highlights the significant social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens, squares and green spaces make to the capital and its inhabitants.
Over 200 gardens will participate in the Weekend – ranging from the historic and traditional to the new and experimental. There are community gardens, gardens in schools and churches, on rooftops, on railway platforms, in skips, behind shops, and floating on the water. A single ticket gains access to all gardens (excluding those with special conditions for entry) for both Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June. This year, the garden of Number 10 Downing Street will be available via a public ballot, as will a series of guided tours of the rooftop ‘skyline’ garden at Coutts & Co. Other gardens opening over the Weekend include Nomura International’s vast roof-top space, the floating gardens of Garden Barge Square and the flourishing growing spaces of the homeless charity Providence Row. Some of London’s premier garden squares will open, including Eaton Square, whose past residents include actress Vivien Leigh and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Belgrave Square, Cleveland Square and Bryanston Square. Visitors can explore the Royal College of Physicians’ medicinal garden, The Master’s Garden within the Temple complex, the gardens of Charlton Manor Primary School and bee-friendly gardens at Bee Urban and Melissa Garden Bee Sanctuary. 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: “London Parks and Gardens Trust opened the first gardens in 1998, hoping to cultivate knowledge and appreciation of London’s green infrastructure network. Today, over two decades on, the Weekend is a powerful celebration of the importance of gardens, squares and green spaces to the social, cultural, environmental and economic life of London.”