A growing trail

PHOTO-2023-04-12-19-05-15A garden on the Lakehouse Estate

A number of residents from the Aldersbrook and Lakehouse Estates are preparing to open their gardens again this summer for the annual Aldersbrook Open Garden Trail. Ruth Martin reports

Fifteen gardens across the Aldersbrook and Lakehouse Estates will open their gardens to the public on 4 June. Some have opened before and some will open for the first time this year. 

The Aldersbrook Open Garden Trail has proved to be a very popular community event each year, with people out and about, walking around the estates and having the opportunity to see what their neighbours’ gardens look like. Although the design of most of the houses on each estate are similar from the outside, it is always a pleasant surprise to discover all the gardens are different, reflecting the owners’ interests and horticultural skills.

We will have the delight of looking at the smallest garden at the end of Empress Avenue, where only two people can really enter at the same time but, when they do, they will be able to appreciate the beautiful planting. Visitors will have the joy of viewing a shady garden on Merlin Road, an oasis of green with some interesting planting and a recently created stumpery. We will also be looking forward to viewing gardens that haven’t opened before on St Margaret’s Road and Wanstead Park Avenue. And the gardens on the Lakehouse Estate are full of colourful planting.

As well as private gardens, the Sunderland Way Community Garden will be open. This is a great community project with plots gardened by residents in that area of Aldersbrook, and there is always an interesting mixture of vegetable and flower planting.

Visitors will be able to avail themselves of plenty of refreshments during the day. Carolyn’s garden on Empress Avenue will be open – as usual – serving ready-made pizzas from her pizza oven, and many of the other gardeners will be serving homemade cakes with tea, coffee and cold drinks. 

We are grateful to The Stow Brothers for sponsoring our trail again this year. Their sponsorship has helped us to raise a lot of money for local charities, including CHAOS (providing holidays for local young people), the Magpie Project (a Forest Gate-based charity helping mums and children under five living in temporary accommodation) and the Woodland Trust (a charity which protects trees and fights for healthy, happy habitats everywhere). The trail map will be published on our website.

The Aldersbrook Open Garden Trail is organised by the Aldersbrook Horticultural Society, revived in 2018, which meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Aldersbrook Bowls Club with a range of speakers, both local and national.

The Aldersbrook Open Garden Trail will take place on 4 June from 12 noon to 5pm. Tickets for entry to all gardens will be available on the day (adults: £5; under-16s: free). Visit wnstd.com/ahs