Open Garden Squares Weekend, London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend, includes an exciting programme of free family friendly events, activities and performances and theyounglondoner has selected our favourites for you.
Open Garden Squares Weekend is an annual event which allows members of the public to enjoy exclusive access to some of the capital’s most exciting, private and unique gardens.
Organised by London Parks and Gardens Trust, over 130 gardens will open over the weekend of the 8 and 9 June, including historic, community and allotment gardens, gardens in schools and churches, on rooftops, on railway platforms and in skips. All events throughout London over the two days are included in the purchase of a weekend ticket (£20 for an adult and free for under 11s), tickets are available here.
Woodland Creature House and Garden-making Workshop
The Museum of Architecture’s School for Creative Thinkers presents its Woodland Creature House and Garden-making Workshop where you can create your own unique miniature house and garden, planting the landscape and arranging the surroundings from natural materials. Learn how landscape and architecture work together to make inviting spaces for their inhabitants, and take home your living creation.
When: Sunday 9 June 11am til 12:30pm
Where: Eversheds Sutherland
Punch and Judy by John Styles
Iconic views across London from the Eversheds Sutherland rooftop garden. Gardeners and beekeepers available to answer questions. Some ‘Just for Kids’ activities including Punch and Judy and lots inspire future gardeners. Food, tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes for sale.
When: Saturday & Sunday 10-5pm
Where: Eversheds Sutherland, EC2 children’s activities and beekeepers on-site
Meet Jess French & make a bird feeder
Jess French is a vet, explorer and Cbeebies presenter. She joins Open Garden Squares Weekend to teach children how they can attract more wildlife into their gardens and talk about her latest book How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear.
When: Sat 8 June at 12pm
Where: Oasis Farm SE1
Barbican Wildlife Garden
Combine a visit to the Barbican Centre (or the Museum of London) with a meander around their wildlife garden. The garden has a wildflower meadow, sunny and dry pollinator bed garden, a shaded underplanted shrubbery, ponds, native hedges, trees plus potting and compost areas. There will be a wildlife-friendly plant sale and refreshments (including homemade garden inspired snacks). A garden poet and live music will serve as entertainment.
When: Saturday 8 June 10am til 4pm and Sunday 12pm til 4pm
Where: Fann Street (Nearest postcode: EC2Y 8BR)
Meet ‘grow your own sensation’ Huw Richards
Heralded as ‘the future of gardening’ by The Guardian, 20 year old Huw Richards began growing on his family’s smallholding in Wales at the age of 3. He uploaded his first gardening video to YouTube when he was 12, and has since surpassed 20 million views online. Meet Huw for a growing workshop and an opportunity to ask him all your ‘grow your own’ questions. Huw will be signing copies of his new book too – everyone welcome!
When: Saturday 8 June at Regent’s Park and Sunday 9 June at Approach Gardens E2
Where: Regent’s Park Allotment Gardens NW1 & Approach Gardens E2
National Youth Jazz Orchestra
Enjoy live performances from the best of London’s young jazz musicians playing everything from big band classics to their own compositions. When: Sunday 9 June at 1pm, 1:45pm and 2:30pm
Where: The Phoenix Garden, WC2
This year Open Garden Squares Weekend has extended its partnership with The Poetry School to create a Sunday Poetry Quarter in four London squares.
When: Sunday 9 June
Where: Bryanston Square hosts author Meryl Pugh, Montagu Square hosts poet and naturalist Anna Selby, Portman Square hosts poet and composer Jade Cuttle, and Manchester Square Gardens hosts Will Burns and illustrator Jess White.
Croquet and Cocktails
Learn to play the quintessential British garden game and sport in one of three stunning locations whilst you sip on cocktails like Gin Basil Smash, Pimms, Mojitos and Raspberry Margaritas.
When & Where: Royal Crescent Garden, W11 – Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 – 11am-5pm Nevern Square, SW5 – Saturday 8 & Sunday 9 June – 12-5pm Inner Temple Garden, EC4 – Sunday 9 June – 1-5pm
There are loads more events including garden parties, bees exhibitions, craft making and other outdoor fun so check the website for more information, and exact opening times of individual gardens by visiting opensquares.org
Twitter: @OpenSquares #OGSW19