Discover the secret, the abundant and the most fertile corners of the city for one weekend this summer (Saturday June 18 - Sunday June 19 2016) as proud gardeners throw open the doors to cherished raised beds on rooftops and enchanting wildflower woodlands, all part of one the loveliest London events in June: Open Garden Squares Weekend. Check out some of our favourite green spaces on the bill this year and go get snooping.
Gardens open on Saturday
This garden was a part of Fulham Palace's grounds until 1935, when it was given to the church for a new vicarage. It is home to some beautiful mature trees including a magnolia, dark-leafed maple and a Cotinus (also known as Smoketree), and the house is covered in wisteria.
Diane Mulholland is the garden's poet in residence for Open Garden Squares 2016
Open Saturday 11am-4pm and Sunday 2-5pm
This community food-growing space was set up by residents of the Golden Lane Estate, and they now produce fruit, vegetables, salad crops and flowers in 40 one-tonne bags on the site of the former nursery playground. There's also a communal herb garden, grapevine and a small wildlife garden.
Open Saturday, 10.30am-4.30pm
Tucked away on the rooftop of this homelessness charity HQ is a secret allotment growing organic fruit and veg with a 'forest garden' of vertical beds. Much of the food produced goes straight into meals for rough sleepers that use the centre.
Open Saturday 12-4pm
A non-profit art gallery and bookshop which supports and promotes contemporary culture from the Arab world. Their sustainable guerilla garden was built around permaculture principles. It is now one year old and has been left to establish itself.
Artist Corinne Silva will be discussing her new book Garden State with Middle Eastern plant expert Sabina Knees at a free public event from 2pm on Saturday June 18. Book here
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm
You can't miss the entrance to this nature reserve - a bold steel gate designed by schoolchildren and local blacksmiths. The small plot has been maintained by a team of volunteers since 2004. The planting focuses on native trees and shrubs and includes a wildlife pond, boggy pond, beehive and growing plots for local residents.
Open Saturday 10am-4pm
A previously derelict site, this organic and sustainable garden is now a thriving green space with plots, small woodland, beehive, pond and a neat custom made watering system that collects rainwater and distributes across the garden.
A traditional summer fete will take place on Saturday with music, games, stalls, home baked treats and a plant sale.
Open Saturday and Sunday 12pm-4pm
This one-acre farm is part of Phoenix School, providing a learning resource for the students and members of the local community. It comprises of glasshouses, polytunnels and beds full of fruit, vegetables and medicinal herbs. Wildlife living in the garden includes rabbits, bees and chickens.
Open Saturday 10am-4pm
This leafy rooftop garden opened in 2015 on the fourth floor of the Ham Yard Hotel so this is the perfect chance to see just how well the wild meadow flowers, vegetables and herbs have settled into their raised beds. Recline in the lounge area, admire the two ancient olive trees that overlook the garden and enjoy views of the London skyline.
Open Saturday, 10am-3pm and Sunday 10am-5pm
This medieval church is dedicated to the patron saint of Norway, and is the resting place of seventeenth-century diarist Samuel Pepys. The garden was recently replanted to honour 16th century botanist William Turner, who is buried in the churchyard.
Open Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 10am-5pm
The burial ground at this Quaker meeting house has the feel of a semi-wild garden. It features a wide variety of trees, including a large Atlantic cedar that's over 170 years old. Plus you might spot 'George' the resident fox, named after the founder fo the Quaker movement.
John Canfield is the garden's poet in residence for Open Garden Squares 2016.
Open Saturday, 11am-5pm
Gardens open on Sunday
These allotments were created in the 1970s, with 31 plots terraced along the freight railway line which runs from Finsbury Park to Liverpool Street. Because of the angle, some of the allotments can only be accessed by ladder. The land also features a small mixed woodland and a freshly renewed pond.
Open Sunday, 11am-5pm
The tube gains a community garden on a 100-metre-long disused platform in Barbican station. Planters of varying heights form a wave pattern to represent the acceleration and braking of trains, and hold trees, climber sand shrubs to provide height. Colourful plants and vegetables should provide enough pollen and nectar to tempt some bugs into this most unnatural of green spaces.
Pre-booked tours 11am-3pm on Saturday and Sunday
The Grade II listed Barbican Estate is gaining some extra green bits, and as part of that a raised podium area which came about thanks to waterproofing works is being turned into Beech Gardens. The planting includes some 22,000 herbaceous plants which provide colour throughout the flowering season and 14 new multi-stemmed trees.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm
This section of Cadogan Place's gardens was created and landscaped by Humphry Repton in 1806, but following a War Office takeover in 1942 it needed some work. It gained an underground car park in 1970, so the re-landscaped garden is a sort of roof garden. Its shallow soil means that you'll find more unusual plants such as a Brazilian pepper tree and a chinaberry tree, as well as plenty of lavender.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-5pm
This organic farm is run by an environmental college, and aims to demonstrate and promote sustainable food production. As well as educational courses and visits the farm holds regular family-friendly events. The organic vineyard is community-run, as is the orchard and market garden.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm
Founded in 1903, this bowling club's award-winning gardens were once patronised by royalty but went through many years of neglect. They were revived in 2014 with help from locals and from the nearby St Quintin Community Garden who have planted new roses and fruit trees to replace those that were lost amongst brambles and weeds.
Open Sunday, 10am-5pm
This three-and-a-half acre educational wildspace features an orchard, some wetland, boggy areas and scrubland to help tempt in lots of wildlife and indigenous plant species. There's also an on-site apiary and open-air classroom facilities.
Open Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm
Explore more of London's secret gardens
Keep clear of the crowds and away from car horns with our pick of gardens that you won’t find growing in the guidebooks. Whether you’re in need of a new pocket of tranquillity, or just looking to experience another side of town, let us lead you up the garden path for a peek at London’s hidden green bits.
This four-star serviced apartment hotel in east London is located conveniently close to Stratford and Stratford International stations. So whether you're coming from nearby or further afield you should have an easy journey to your room. The apartments are neat and stylish, with kitchenettes and lounge areas, so you can have a few home comforts during your stay away.
Venue says: “Great value and great opportunity in the heart of east London with the whole city at your doorstep.”