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Open Garden Squares Weekend

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews and reviews.
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London's gardens are looking lovely for an open weekend
British Medical Association Council Garden by Diana Jarvis

As June bursts into bloom, the English country garden comes into its own, and some of London's lesser-known green spaces, from roof terraces to herbaceous borders, are on view to the public for a weekend.

Organised by the London Parks and Gardens Trust, Open Garden Squares Weekend gives access to more than 200 gardens across 27 London boroughs on Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 June.

The Royal College of Physicians' medicinal garden illustrates how plants have been used for healing purposes for thousands of years. Eight small gardens along the Regency terrace of St Andrews Place contain plants that have been used to treat a variety of ailments. Medicinal herbs also feature in the garden of the British Medical Association Council, on the corner of Tavistock Square. The design by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens centres around an oval pool.

Crossrail Place roof garden at Canary Wharf Crossrail station is filled with ferns, grasses and flowering shrubs, with planting inspired by the area's maritime heritage. Nomura International PLC's huge roof terrace offers panoramic views of the Thames from its formal gardens and has an award-winning kitchen garden run by volunteers.

The 100th anniversary of the end of World War I is commemorated at Roe Green walled garden in Putney, part of a garden village built for aircraft factory workers, with original Victorian features including a wildlife pond with water lilies.

The Alara Permaculture Forest Garden was created from unused land close to King's Cross, after tons of rubbish were cleared to make way for a forest, vineyard and orchard.

Keats House near Hampstead Heath is the former home of the Romantic poet John Keats, who is said to have written his popular 'Ode to a Nightingale' under a plum tree in the garden.

The Deanery, part of the private residence of the Dean of Southwark Cathedral, next to the Globe Theatre, is a secluded spot full of shrubs, trees and herbaceous borders, and a haven for wildlife. Trumpeters' House, near Richmond Green, takes its name from two statues with trumpets on a gate of the old Richmond Palace. The grounds have an 18th-century castellated summer house, a knot garden and an aviary.

A weekend ticket gains entry to all gardens (subject to last minute cancellations and excluding those with special conditions for entry) for both 9 and 10 June. There's also a programme of guided walks and special tours for ticketholders.

Sunday-only tickets are available on the day and can be purchased at the gardens which are open that day. Tickets are available online from the OGSW website . Free entry for children aged 11 and under. Opening times vary, with some gardens open all weekend and others for one day only.

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Why? Open Garden Squares Weekend
When: 9-10 June 2018
Where: Across all London boroughs
Cost: From 15 for a weekend ticket
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