If you are in London this week to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee your visit can be extended to include Open Garden Squares Weekend organized by the London Parks & Gardens Trust. This popular event allows access to over 200 gardens and green spaces from historic squares to contemporary allotments and roof gardens.
London Parks & Gardens Trust (www.londongardenstrust.org) is a largely volunteer organization founded in 1994 with a mandate to increase knowledge and appreciation of historic parks and gardens in London while conserving London’s green spaces for the education and enjoyment of the public. The organization operates out of the charmingly idiosyncratic Duck Island Cottage in St. James Park where, as I learned on a recent visit, an enthusiastic staff offsets limited facilities with a remarkable location.
They have recently completed an ambitious project, the London Inventory of Historic Green Spaces, which contains details, complete with photographs, plans and drawings of approximately 2,500 parks, gardens, commons, cemeteries and other historic spaces across Greater London.
So, if like me, you are not attending the festivities in London this week you can, from the comfort of your parlor, pour a cup of tea and conduct a virtual tour of London’s historic green spaces by visiting: www.londongardensonline.org.uk.
A membership in London Parks and Garden Trust is a bargain at thirty pounds for overseas members and includes invitations to lectures and publications as well as a ticket (mine is above) to Open Garden Squares Weekend. Most importantly, it supports the ongoing education and advocacy work of the Trust.