The weekend of 13-14 June 2015 is this year’s Open Garden Squares Weekend, an opportunity to explore gardens and open spaces which are usually closed to the public (including Cable Street Community Garden, pictured above). Over 200 gardens are taking part in Open Garden Squares Weekend this year. There is a real variety – from the traditional private squares to contemporary roof gardens, not to mention skips, prisons, museums, schools and allotments. These are a mix of gardens that are private, those that are not normally open at weekends and some that are open, but are hidden gems that you might not know about. Gardens that are normally open provide activities ranging from puppet shows to walks and exhibitions by friends groups. They will usually have active, dedicated community groups passionate about their local area, their garden and community.
Organised by the London Parks & Gardens Trust, Open Garden Squares Weekend has been running since 1998. The weekend is run almost entirely by volunteers. Most of the people involved in opening their gardens do so voluntarily and there is also another pool of volunteers who spend about half a day welcoming visitors and checking/selling tickets in gardens which need extra help. Any surplus made from the event is divided between eligible participating gardens and the London Parks & Gardens Trust.
Tickets cost £10 in advance or £12 on the weekend, and give access to all gardens apart from a few that require pre-booking or where places are allocated by ballot. For more details, and to buy tickets, see the Open Garden Squares website.
Gardens in Tower Hamlets taking part include:
Arnold Circus (Sunday 10am-5pm)
Cable Street Community Garden (Sunday 10am-4pm)
Cranbrook Community Food Garden (both days 11am-3pm)
Derbyshire Street Pocket Park (Saturday 2-5pm)
Oaklands School Roof Gardens (Sunday 12-4pm)
St Peter’s Bethnal Green Church Gardens (Sunday 2-5pm)
Spitalfields City Farm (both days 10am-4.30pm)
Winterton House Organic Garden (Sunday 10am-5pm)
Woollen House Communal Garden (Sunday 11am-5pm)
Zander Court Club House Garden (Sunday 12-4pm)