Can you dig it? Open Gardens weekend is back

Get your walking shoes on and be inspired by Open Gardens weekend, with nine beautiful spaces on show in Hammersmith & Fulham.

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Dahlias at Emery Walker House

Get your walking shoes on and be inspired by Open Gardens weekend, with nine beautiful spaces on show in Hammersmith & Fulham.

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Emery Walker House conservatory

Organised by London Parks & Gardens, the annual event on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 June encourages everyone to get out and about, to appreciate the precious green areas in our borough and further afield.

If you buy a ticket to this year’s Open Gardens weekend, you’ll have access to 117 gardens across London, ranging from plant rescue centres to miniature roof gardens, bowling clubs to community vegetable patches.

Below is the list of the local green attractions. Click on the links to find out which day each garden is open, the hours to visit over the weekend, and the closest bus stops and tube stations to each participating garden. Enjoy!

Emery Walker’s House in Hammersmith Terrace, W6, is maintained by volunteers and largely features the plants mentioned in the diaries of Dorothy, daughter of the great printer. Walker himself, who worked with William Morris, father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, lived in the house for the first third of the 20th Century.

When he died, Dorothy inherited house and garden. The paths are made of Victorian terracotta tiles, while the grapevine in the conservatory is a descendant of the one in William Hogarth’s house. One bed celebrates flowers which appear in Morris designs.

You can also take in Morris’s own garden at Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, W6; a green, restful oasis featuring ferns and plants that were the inspiration for many famous textile and wallpaper designs. It is now managed by the William Morris Society.

The All Saints vicarage garden in Fulham High Street, SW6, dates from the 1930s when part of Fulham Palace’s land was siphoned off to build a new house for the vicar. The wisteria-covered building stands in front of a pleasant rose garden with mature trees and shrubs. Refreshments and cakes will be available.

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Ravenscourt Park Glasshouses

Admire the work of the Hammersmith Community Gardens Association by touring the Ravenscourt Park Glasshouses – brought back to life by volunteers after falling into disrepair.

The new and improved green hub was officially unveiled in April by local residents, supporters and volunteers, as well as H&F Cllr Emma Apthorp.

Access to the walled garden and glasshouses is alongside the café in the park (W6 0UL), with plants and refreshments for sale. There’s a medicinal herb border and raised pond.

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Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments

If you want to learn more about allotment culture, head to the Fulham Palace Meadows Allotments to admire an empire of 400 plots by the Thames off Bishops Avenue, created on land gifted by the Bishop of London during the First World War. Local residents from all walks of life take great pride in their varied produce… and you can buy veg and plants, and chat to the gardeners over a cuppa. 

New to the London Open Gardens scheme is an unusual 10th floor garden terrace at 245 Hammersmith Road, W6, with spectacular views and a rich choice of furniture to rest your weary legs. Feel free to picnic as you take in the vistas on a rooftop eyrie created in partnership with Hammersmith Community Gardens, and don’t miss the bug hotel installed by the charity Bees & Refugees. Access to the terrace via a lift in reception. 

If you want to see an award-winner, head for John Betts House in Goldhawk Road, W12, to enjoy the private communal gardens usually restricted to the seniors of the Hammersmith United Charities’ almshouses. The London Gardens Society named it best small community garden in 2017, citing its citrus trees, raised veg beds, hanging gaskets and balcony containers. Feel free to picnic, or try the cakes homemade by residents. 

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Phoenix Farm in White City

Another garden which has won awards – including a gold medal at the Hampton Court Flower Show – is Phoenix Farm in White City, next to the fitness centre in Bloemfontein Road, W12. With its community orchard and wildlife area (including chickens and rabbits), it’s a popular learning resource for schools and local groups. Spread over an acre, it produces 40 varieties of fruit and veg. Plants are for sale, and refreshments are served. 

Hidden from view, but well worth locating, are the gardens of Sycamore House, laid out a decade ago in the heart of Shepherds Bush. Aim for Sycamore Gardens, W6, to take in the restful grounds where the senior citizen residents are encouraged to take an active role in maintaining the butterfly-friendly beds and workshops. It won the London Gardens Society’s prize for best large community garden two years running. Tea, coffee and homemade cake is on offer, and there is a plant sale. 

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