Sunday, 9 July 2017

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The Islamic Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

Here is a garden that seems so little known, that on a sunny afternoon there was hardly anyone there, while the surrounding Burgess Park was bustling with people. I didn't remember how Chumleigh had found its way on my list of London gardens to visit; this feels as obscure now as the garden itself.

I came here after visiting the Lavender Garden in Vauxhall Park, via Myatt's Fields Park, and a good stroll through Burgess Park; I felt hot and exhausted. The only thing I remembered from reading about Chumleigh was a picture of a water feature with pretty tiles and a palm tree - shown in the above photo - a promise of a calm coolness. Before I found this, I melted away in the hot summer colours of the English Garden.

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The English Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The English Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The English Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

I hadn't expected such a well laid out and planted flower garden here. The English Garden looked like it could have been part of some country estate. The pretty buildings surrounding it probably contributed to this though.

They are 19th century almshouses, built by the Friendly Female Society. They now host a cafe and nursery. The multi-cultural garden around them was created 1995 and is designed to reflect the area's diversity. As well as the English Garden, there are an Oriental, an African and Caribbean, an Islamic, and a Mediterranean Garden, which are sat behind the almshouse buildings and are even more secluded and tranquil.

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The Mediterranean Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

Chumleigh Gardens, Burgess Park
The Mediterranean Garden at Chumleigh - 8 July 2017

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Vauxhall Lavender

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden
The Lavender Garden in Vauxhall Park - 8 July 2017

On a hot July day, the Lavender Garden in Vauxhall Park feels like a place far out of London. It is surprisingly quiet. The air smells of lavender, there are bees buzzing around the plants. The grass below is burnt by the sun. This is summer; you think that you are somewhere in the South.

Yet this is South London, only a few minutes walk from Vauxhall Station. Just over a hundred years ago actually, there were lavender fields not far away from here. Today, there is Carshalton Lavender, a community project that opens the opens the field to the public at their annual harvest weekend end of July, and the Mayfield Lavender fields in Banstead. And there is lovely little garden here in Vauxhall Park.

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden

Vauxhall Park Lavender Garden