Saturday, 24 September 2011

Autumn in London

Autumn Leaves in Osterley Park
London is beautiful in autumn. Here are some ideas for the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness":

At Fenton House in Hampstead, the annual Apple Day event, "a celebration of the English apple in the historic orchard", is taking place this weekend, 24 and 25 September, from 11am to 4:30pm; adults £3, children £1.

Also in Hampstead, this year's Conkers Championship will take place as part of the Heath Heritage Festival on Sunday 9 October, at Parliament Hill Bandstand from 11am to 4pm; the event is free (and conkers will be provided!).

On Saturday 29 October, a Family Pumpkin Day will take place at Chiswick House and Gardens, and there will also be a Pumpkin Festival at Osterley Park and House on the same weekend, 29 and 30 October, 12pm to 4pm (this event is free).

Later in the year, from Friday 18 November to Sunday 4 December, Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland will give you a chance to wander around the gardens and arboretum when it's dark, with the trees illuminated by lights. 5pm to 9pm with last entry 8pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; adults £7, children £3.

Some of the best places to see autumn colours in London are, of course, its many parks and gardens, and particularly beautiful are the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, the gardens at Eltham Palace, and the Pergola and Hill Garden in Hampstead Heath.

Glorious displays of colours can also be seen at Kew Gardens; there will be guided walks and tours as part of Autumn at Kew.

There are some seasonal walks in the Royal Parks, too, for example this free Autumn Bird Walk in Richmond Park on 15 October.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House is a hidden delight, a pretty contrast to the wilderness of nearby Hampstead Heath. The garden is situated at the Heath's northern border with Hampstead Lane, next to the Kenwood Nursery.

It used to be the kitchen garden of Kenwood House, and hence is also called the Kitchen Garden. Today it's a flower garden which features hedges, borders, a kidney-shaped butterfly bed–and a sundial, which is made of stones sunken into the lawn.

There is another garden at Kenwood House, the Flower Garden, with azaleas and rhododendrons, to the west of the house.

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The butterfly bed - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The lavender hedge and butterfly bed - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
Benches - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The lavender hedge - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The sundial - 14 September 2011