Aldersbrook gardens


Four gardens on the Aldersbrook Estate will be open to the public on 4 July as part of the National Garden Scheme. Ruth Martin, Chair of the Aldersbrook Horticultural Society, takes a look at each

My own garden at 4 Empress Avenue is divided into two sections by a laurel hedge. The bottom part of the garden, which was previously a vegetable patch, is being rewilded with a bramble area, log piles and wild flower patches. It also has a pond, fruit trees and bushes, and a cutting garden. The borders in the top section are designed on the basis of colour, with a hot border of reds, oranges and purples. Opposite, there is a blue and yellow bed, and beside each of the coloured beds is a white bed, which do well as these areas are more shady.

The garden at 1 Clavering Road is an end-of-terrace garden that benefits from having a sunny aspect for the majority of the day. Additional space to the side has allowed the opportunity to create a kitchen garden using reclaimed wood for raised beds. A redundant children’s play area has provided ample space for a chicken coop, and several surrounding mature trees give plenty of shade and protection for the hens in all weather conditions. Excess produce from the kitchen garden and fruit trees is much appreciated by the hens, who reciprocate by laying eggs daily and producing manure for the compost bin, which is recycled back into the garden.

The 80-foot garden at 21 Park Road comprises three ‘rooms’. The first, nearest the house, has a tear-shaped lawn surrounded by beds containing evergreen shrubs for structure and perennials in mainly blues, mauves and purples. The fences are covered with climbers including white roses, jasmine and clematis. A curving brick path then leads you through a long pergola covered with more roses, clematis and vines beside a magnolia tree, which provides shade for pulmonaria, white foxgloves and other shade-loving plants. A gravel seating area surrounded by pots contains colourful bedding plants and a decorative log pile. The final ‘room’ has three wigwams of sweet peas, varied tomato plants and plentiful raspberries, leaving some room for more shrubs, flowers and climbers. A hotbin, erected this year to provide speedy composting, lives in the corner.

The final garden at 47 St Margaret’s Road is a typical north-facing suburban garden, full of colour all the year round, with a design based on curves. The garden demonstrates how a scruffy family garden can evolve, for example where the trampoline was is now a patio. The beds are tightly planted with an eclectic mix of semi- and shade- loving plants. The small, south-facing front garden demonstrates how off-street parking can be shared with sun-loving shrubs, perennials and edible produce, including a prolific olive tree.

The four gardens are open from 12 noon to 5pm on 4 July (adults: £7; children: free). Pre-booking advised. Visit wnstd.com/ag