London’s Garden Squares

Anne here. The first time I went to London on my own, and as an adult, I stayed in a backpackers' hotel, renting a miniscule room overlooking a beautiful shady garden. In a big gray city, it was an enticing patch of lush green vegetation surrounded by decorative iron railings and it reminded me of the Victorian era public gardens which abound at home. Since it was summer, I thought it would be nice to sit in that garden and write some letters (yes, it was that long ago, when people still wrote letters.)

This is a photo of the photo collage I made of it —the view from my window — I was in my David Hockney photo collage phase at the time, joining up photos to give a time-and-movement element to photos. I still like the effect. 
LondonPrivateGdn

Imagine my surprise when I found every gate into the garden had a lock on it. And they were all locked. I mentioned it to someone on the desk of the backpackers' hotel and he looked at me as if I were peculiar and said, "It's a private garden. Only the residents have keys to it." And no, backpackers —and other riff-raff, he implied— couldn't use it.  I admit, I was a bit shocked. The only private gardens I knew of were the ones in people's back yard.

Remember that scene in Notting Hill where Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant climb over the high fence into the garden? It was that kind of garden.

CoventGarden*c1720It's a feature of London, these private garden squares serving a small number of residents. The trend probably started in 1630, when the 4th Earl of Bedford commissioned Inigo Jones in to design and build a church and three terraces of fine houses around a large square or piazza at Covent Garden. It was a new idea at the time (imported from Italy via the grand tour, I think.) Of course that was a big square, open to the public. 

In the 17th century the Great Plague and then the Great Fire of London made thousands of people homeless. People, more aware of the dangers of cramped housing, took to the idea of a more spacious way of life, and this influenced the speculative building boom that followed.

Of course much of the boom was of cheap and quick-to-build tenements, but some developments had higher aspirations, planning an early kind of suburb, with a square of grand houses at the heart, and a church and a marketplace, surrounded by a series of increasingly inexpensive streets and houses. The larger of these squares are household names today.

Here is an early view of Bloomsbury Square. (right)Bloomsbury Square

BloomsburySquareThis is it today. (left)

The earliest squares were simply areas of open grass, sometimes fenced with a wooden fence. The earliest square to have a real ornamental garden established in it was Soho Square. (see the pic of Soho Square below, with the sheep)

As London became more and more built up, more and more housing developments for the affluent were constructed around a square (or rectangle or other shape) and a private garden or small park built in the middle.

But by the early 18th century, many had also become choked with rubbish and were a focus of crime. Covent Garden, for instance, had become a notorious red light area. The solution was to introduce legislation by which residents were taxed to enable the squares to be properly maintained. This was a turning point. If the residents had to pay, they wanted control.
BerkeleySquare

Some squares were fenced off — seriously— from the public with high iron railings, providing protection and a degree of privacy and from the hoi polloi. You can  understand it — a large private garden was a safe place for your nanny to take the children to play.

Trees were planted. The big plane trees you see today in Berkeley Square (right) were planted in the 1780's.

Soho-sheep

The rural landscape was becoming fashionable (replacing formal geometric gardens) and some of these city gardens were designed to imitate the great estates, with groves of trees, fountains, statues and shady walks, giving a little touch of the country in the heart of the city.
Some went to extremes in this country imitation; behind the railings of Cavendish Square, sheep grazed.

The Regency era was a time of economic boom and many new housing developments were built, many with their own garden square. Thomas Cubitt, the leading land developer of the era even established his own plant nursery to stock the gardens he built, often creating the gardens well before the houses were built.

In the Victorian era garden design reflected a greater desire for privacy with a thick planting of evergreens around the perimeter, and spacious green lawns and flowerbeds within, concealed from the public eye.
ArundelGardens

In 1840 the Ladbroke Estate took this desire for privacy even further, building the houses to face onto the street and opening onto one large communal garden at the back. This became quite a fashionable design and many other developments followed suit. It looked like this at the front (see pic left) and like this at the rear (see pic below right, taken from a real estate advert.)ArundelGdnsrear

However, not all of these private gardens were well maintained and in 1863, the Gardens in Towns Protection Act allowed local authorities to take over the maintenance of neglected squares. This resulted in some being open to the public.

This work was later taken over by The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association (MPGA), founded in 1882 to preserve small areas of urban open land, rescued many of the older squares, improving them and opening them up to the public.

These days, many of the garden squares in London remain in private hands, and are open to public access only on "Open Garden Squares Weekend" held in June. 

So what about you? Have you been to London? Visited any of these garden squares?
Do you like the idea of sharing a large-ish garden with 20 or 30 of your neighbours, or do you prefer your own small private patch of garden? Want to share one with Hugh Grant, perhaps?
Maybe you live in an apartment, and your garden is in pots. Or do you have a black thumb?
Share your thoughts.

75 thoughts on “London’s Garden Squares”

  1. Interesting post, thanks. I don’t think I’d heard of the communal gardens hidden behind the houses, before – I think I prefer that to the one in the middle of the square. I would usually choose to have my own garden, but in the middle of a big city like London one can actually get greater privacy in a large garden which is well wooded even if in theory it is shared with several others.

    Reply
  2. Interesting post, thanks. I don’t think I’d heard of the communal gardens hidden behind the houses, before – I think I prefer that to the one in the middle of the square. I would usually choose to have my own garden, but in the middle of a big city like London one can actually get greater privacy in a large garden which is well wooded even if in theory it is shared with several others.

    Reply
  3. Interesting post, thanks. I don’t think I’d heard of the communal gardens hidden behind the houses, before – I think I prefer that to the one in the middle of the square. I would usually choose to have my own garden, but in the middle of a big city like London one can actually get greater privacy in a large garden which is well wooded even if in theory it is shared with several others.

    Reply
  4. Interesting post, thanks. I don’t think I’d heard of the communal gardens hidden behind the houses, before – I think I prefer that to the one in the middle of the square. I would usually choose to have my own garden, but in the middle of a big city like London one can actually get greater privacy in a large garden which is well wooded even if in theory it is shared with several others.

    Reply
  5. Interesting post, thanks. I don’t think I’d heard of the communal gardens hidden behind the houses, before – I think I prefer that to the one in the middle of the square. I would usually choose to have my own garden, but in the middle of a big city like London one can actually get greater privacy in a large garden which is well wooded even if in theory it is shared with several others.

    Reply
  6. Lovely post, Anne. Thank you! I love those gorgeous garden squares in London, little oases in the middle of all the traffic and busyness. One of the squares I found that is open to the public is Canonbury Square. It’s in Islington and was built in 1800. There are some stunning Georgian houses there, some with their original numbers. You get a very strong sense of historical atmosphere sitting in the garden square.
    I’m not much of a gardener myself but I have made an effort this summer to improve my own little plot!

    Reply
  7. Lovely post, Anne. Thank you! I love those gorgeous garden squares in London, little oases in the middle of all the traffic and busyness. One of the squares I found that is open to the public is Canonbury Square. It’s in Islington and was built in 1800. There are some stunning Georgian houses there, some with their original numbers. You get a very strong sense of historical atmosphere sitting in the garden square.
    I’m not much of a gardener myself but I have made an effort this summer to improve my own little plot!

    Reply
  8. Lovely post, Anne. Thank you! I love those gorgeous garden squares in London, little oases in the middle of all the traffic and busyness. One of the squares I found that is open to the public is Canonbury Square. It’s in Islington and was built in 1800. There are some stunning Georgian houses there, some with their original numbers. You get a very strong sense of historical atmosphere sitting in the garden square.
    I’m not much of a gardener myself but I have made an effort this summer to improve my own little plot!

    Reply
  9. Lovely post, Anne. Thank you! I love those gorgeous garden squares in London, little oases in the middle of all the traffic and busyness. One of the squares I found that is open to the public is Canonbury Square. It’s in Islington and was built in 1800. There are some stunning Georgian houses there, some with their original numbers. You get a very strong sense of historical atmosphere sitting in the garden square.
    I’m not much of a gardener myself but I have made an effort this summer to improve my own little plot!

    Reply
  10. Lovely post, Anne. Thank you! I love those gorgeous garden squares in London, little oases in the middle of all the traffic and busyness. One of the squares I found that is open to the public is Canonbury Square. It’s in Islington and was built in 1800. There are some stunning Georgian houses there, some with their original numbers. You get a very strong sense of historical atmosphere sitting in the garden square.
    I’m not much of a gardener myself but I have made an effort this summer to improve my own little plot!

    Reply
  11. Living in an American HOA I much prefer the square concept to the common ground yard. There can be an illusion of privacy that doesn’t exist when you are in the common yard with all the back doors open and windows occupied. Our residents never use the common backyards, knowing they are being monitored by the other owners. Recreation happens at the pool, the clubhouse, the areas that are public and private at once.

    Reply
  12. Living in an American HOA I much prefer the square concept to the common ground yard. There can be an illusion of privacy that doesn’t exist when you are in the common yard with all the back doors open and windows occupied. Our residents never use the common backyards, knowing they are being monitored by the other owners. Recreation happens at the pool, the clubhouse, the areas that are public and private at once.

    Reply
  13. Living in an American HOA I much prefer the square concept to the common ground yard. There can be an illusion of privacy that doesn’t exist when you are in the common yard with all the back doors open and windows occupied. Our residents never use the common backyards, knowing they are being monitored by the other owners. Recreation happens at the pool, the clubhouse, the areas that are public and private at once.

    Reply
  14. Living in an American HOA I much prefer the square concept to the common ground yard. There can be an illusion of privacy that doesn’t exist when you are in the common yard with all the back doors open and windows occupied. Our residents never use the common backyards, knowing they are being monitored by the other owners. Recreation happens at the pool, the clubhouse, the areas that are public and private at once.

    Reply
  15. Living in an American HOA I much prefer the square concept to the common ground yard. There can be an illusion of privacy that doesn’t exist when you are in the common yard with all the back doors open and windows occupied. Our residents never use the common backyards, knowing they are being monitored by the other owners. Recreation happens at the pool, the clubhouse, the areas that are public and private at once.

    Reply
  16. I love the idea of a large secret garden hidden within a block of houses. There’s one on the Oakland/Berkeley border here that a guy I know owns a house on. It’s amazing to go out his back door and inot this HUGE private garden with redwood trees and a stream and lots of private, hiden nooks.

    Reply
  17. I love the idea of a large secret garden hidden within a block of houses. There’s one on the Oakland/Berkeley border here that a guy I know owns a house on. It’s amazing to go out his back door and inot this HUGE private garden with redwood trees and a stream and lots of private, hiden nooks.

    Reply
  18. I love the idea of a large secret garden hidden within a block of houses. There’s one on the Oakland/Berkeley border here that a guy I know owns a house on. It’s amazing to go out his back door and inot this HUGE private garden with redwood trees and a stream and lots of private, hiden nooks.

    Reply
  19. I love the idea of a large secret garden hidden within a block of houses. There’s one on the Oakland/Berkeley border here that a guy I know owns a house on. It’s amazing to go out his back door and inot this HUGE private garden with redwood trees and a stream and lots of private, hiden nooks.

    Reply
  20. I love the idea of a large secret garden hidden within a block of houses. There’s one on the Oakland/Berkeley border here that a guy I know owns a house on. It’s amazing to go out his back door and inot this HUGE private garden with redwood trees and a stream and lots of private, hiden nooks.

    Reply
  21. I shared a basement flat with a friend in Notting Hill Gate. The street was called Elgin Crescent and it may well have been the garden behind that was in the film with Hugh Grant. The back of our two room flat looked out on the house’s own small garden which then had a gate out into the large resident’s garden. Strangely enough, the owner of the house wouldn’t let us use the house’s garden but gave us the key to the enclosed, shared area, which was VERY large!
    Wish I’d paid more attention of the privilege at the time…

    Reply
  22. I shared a basement flat with a friend in Notting Hill Gate. The street was called Elgin Crescent and it may well have been the garden behind that was in the film with Hugh Grant. The back of our two room flat looked out on the house’s own small garden which then had a gate out into the large resident’s garden. Strangely enough, the owner of the house wouldn’t let us use the house’s garden but gave us the key to the enclosed, shared area, which was VERY large!
    Wish I’d paid more attention of the privilege at the time…

    Reply
  23. I shared a basement flat with a friend in Notting Hill Gate. The street was called Elgin Crescent and it may well have been the garden behind that was in the film with Hugh Grant. The back of our two room flat looked out on the house’s own small garden which then had a gate out into the large resident’s garden. Strangely enough, the owner of the house wouldn’t let us use the house’s garden but gave us the key to the enclosed, shared area, which was VERY large!
    Wish I’d paid more attention of the privilege at the time…

    Reply
  24. I shared a basement flat with a friend in Notting Hill Gate. The street was called Elgin Crescent and it may well have been the garden behind that was in the film with Hugh Grant. The back of our two room flat looked out on the house’s own small garden which then had a gate out into the large resident’s garden. Strangely enough, the owner of the house wouldn’t let us use the house’s garden but gave us the key to the enclosed, shared area, which was VERY large!
    Wish I’d paid more attention of the privilege at the time…

    Reply
  25. I shared a basement flat with a friend in Notting Hill Gate. The street was called Elgin Crescent and it may well have been the garden behind that was in the film with Hugh Grant. The back of our two room flat looked out on the house’s own small garden which then had a gate out into the large resident’s garden. Strangely enough, the owner of the house wouldn’t let us use the house’s garden but gave us the key to the enclosed, shared area, which was VERY large!
    Wish I’d paid more attention of the privilege at the time…

    Reply
  26. In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I grew up, there were large communal gardens surrounded on all four sides by apartment buildings (six stories high on the avenue end, four stories high on the street end). They were simply beautiful, and I gather that they still are. Aside from being a safe place for children to play, they are a lovely place for the elderly who can no longer garden themselves.

    Reply
  27. In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I grew up, there were large communal gardens surrounded on all four sides by apartment buildings (six stories high on the avenue end, four stories high on the street end). They were simply beautiful, and I gather that they still are. Aside from being a safe place for children to play, they are a lovely place for the elderly who can no longer garden themselves.

    Reply
  28. In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I grew up, there were large communal gardens surrounded on all four sides by apartment buildings (six stories high on the avenue end, four stories high on the street end). They were simply beautiful, and I gather that they still are. Aside from being a safe place for children to play, they are a lovely place for the elderly who can no longer garden themselves.

    Reply
  29. In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I grew up, there were large communal gardens surrounded on all four sides by apartment buildings (six stories high on the avenue end, four stories high on the street end). They were simply beautiful, and I gather that they still are. Aside from being a safe place for children to play, they are a lovely place for the elderly who can no longer garden themselves.

    Reply
  30. In Jackson Heights, Queens, where I grew up, there were large communal gardens surrounded on all four sides by apartment buildings (six stories high on the avenue end, four stories high on the street end). They were simply beautiful, and I gather that they still are. Aside from being a safe place for children to play, they are a lovely place for the elderly who can no longer garden themselves.

    Reply
  31. I am so enjoying all these descriptions of hidden gardens. HJ I prefer my own garden, too, but the scale of some of these where they can seem to be like small patches of woodland, makes them something extra special.
    Nicola, next time I go to the Uk I plan to make it a garden-themed visit. But it will have to be leisurely. *g*
    Isobel, that garden sounds amazing. What a dream of a garden, with redwoods and a stream. Certainly a fantasy of a garden.

    Reply
  32. I am so enjoying all these descriptions of hidden gardens. HJ I prefer my own garden, too, but the scale of some of these where they can seem to be like small patches of woodland, makes them something extra special.
    Nicola, next time I go to the Uk I plan to make it a garden-themed visit. But it will have to be leisurely. *g*
    Isobel, that garden sounds amazing. What a dream of a garden, with redwoods and a stream. Certainly a fantasy of a garden.

    Reply
  33. I am so enjoying all these descriptions of hidden gardens. HJ I prefer my own garden, too, but the scale of some of these where they can seem to be like small patches of woodland, makes them something extra special.
    Nicola, next time I go to the Uk I plan to make it a garden-themed visit. But it will have to be leisurely. *g*
    Isobel, that garden sounds amazing. What a dream of a garden, with redwoods and a stream. Certainly a fantasy of a garden.

    Reply
  34. I am so enjoying all these descriptions of hidden gardens. HJ I prefer my own garden, too, but the scale of some of these where they can seem to be like small patches of woodland, makes them something extra special.
    Nicola, next time I go to the Uk I plan to make it a garden-themed visit. But it will have to be leisurely. *g*
    Isobel, that garden sounds amazing. What a dream of a garden, with redwoods and a stream. Certainly a fantasy of a garden.

    Reply
  35. I am so enjoying all these descriptions of hidden gardens. HJ I prefer my own garden, too, but the scale of some of these where they can seem to be like small patches of woodland, makes them something extra special.
    Nicola, next time I go to the Uk I plan to make it a garden-themed visit. But it will have to be leisurely. *g*
    Isobel, that garden sounds amazing. What a dream of a garden, with redwoods and a stream. Certainly a fantasy of a garden.

    Reply
  36. Meoskop, a friend of mine lives in an owner occupied (which I think is like a HOA) low-rise apartment complex in the inner city, and there’s not a huge space for gardens, but what there is, is brilliant. From his apartment you look out into nothing but vegetation, trees of all kinds, camellia bushes, bamboo groves — really beautiful, and not crowded.
    It’s not a garden you’d sit in for a picnic, and there’s no room for kids to play (though it’s a 2 minute walk to extensive public gardens) but it’s designed so that all the residents look into gardens and are screened for privacy.
    I think access to gardens is important for people’s peace of mind.

    Reply
  37. Meoskop, a friend of mine lives in an owner occupied (which I think is like a HOA) low-rise apartment complex in the inner city, and there’s not a huge space for gardens, but what there is, is brilliant. From his apartment you look out into nothing but vegetation, trees of all kinds, camellia bushes, bamboo groves — really beautiful, and not crowded.
    It’s not a garden you’d sit in for a picnic, and there’s no room for kids to play (though it’s a 2 minute walk to extensive public gardens) but it’s designed so that all the residents look into gardens and are screened for privacy.
    I think access to gardens is important for people’s peace of mind.

    Reply
  38. Meoskop, a friend of mine lives in an owner occupied (which I think is like a HOA) low-rise apartment complex in the inner city, and there’s not a huge space for gardens, but what there is, is brilliant. From his apartment you look out into nothing but vegetation, trees of all kinds, camellia bushes, bamboo groves — really beautiful, and not crowded.
    It’s not a garden you’d sit in for a picnic, and there’s no room for kids to play (though it’s a 2 minute walk to extensive public gardens) but it’s designed so that all the residents look into gardens and are screened for privacy.
    I think access to gardens is important for people’s peace of mind.

    Reply
  39. Meoskop, a friend of mine lives in an owner occupied (which I think is like a HOA) low-rise apartment complex in the inner city, and there’s not a huge space for gardens, but what there is, is brilliant. From his apartment you look out into nothing but vegetation, trees of all kinds, camellia bushes, bamboo groves — really beautiful, and not crowded.
    It’s not a garden you’d sit in for a picnic, and there’s no room for kids to play (though it’s a 2 minute walk to extensive public gardens) but it’s designed so that all the residents look into gardens and are screened for privacy.
    I think access to gardens is important for people’s peace of mind.

    Reply
  40. Meoskop, a friend of mine lives in an owner occupied (which I think is like a HOA) low-rise apartment complex in the inner city, and there’s not a huge space for gardens, but what there is, is brilliant. From his apartment you look out into nothing but vegetation, trees of all kinds, camellia bushes, bamboo groves — really beautiful, and not crowded.
    It’s not a garden you’d sit in for a picnic, and there’s no room for kids to play (though it’s a 2 minute walk to extensive public gardens) but it’s designed so that all the residents look into gardens and are screened for privacy.
    I think access to gardens is important for people’s peace of mind.

    Reply
  41. Suzy that sounds marvelous. If I were you I’d be claiming it was that garden even if you’re not 100% sure. *g*
    Lil, that Jackson Heights area sounds like excellent urban design. A little bit of open space, a little bit of green beauty, and a place for kids to play sounds perfect to me. And it’s wonderful that the gardens are still treasured by the residents.

    Reply
  42. Suzy that sounds marvelous. If I were you I’d be claiming it was that garden even if you’re not 100% sure. *g*
    Lil, that Jackson Heights area sounds like excellent urban design. A little bit of open space, a little bit of green beauty, and a place for kids to play sounds perfect to me. And it’s wonderful that the gardens are still treasured by the residents.

    Reply
  43. Suzy that sounds marvelous. If I were you I’d be claiming it was that garden even if you’re not 100% sure. *g*
    Lil, that Jackson Heights area sounds like excellent urban design. A little bit of open space, a little bit of green beauty, and a place for kids to play sounds perfect to me. And it’s wonderful that the gardens are still treasured by the residents.

    Reply
  44. Suzy that sounds marvelous. If I were you I’d be claiming it was that garden even if you’re not 100% sure. *g*
    Lil, that Jackson Heights area sounds like excellent urban design. A little bit of open space, a little bit of green beauty, and a place for kids to play sounds perfect to me. And it’s wonderful that the gardens are still treasured by the residents.

    Reply
  45. Suzy that sounds marvelous. If I were you I’d be claiming it was that garden even if you’re not 100% sure. *g*
    Lil, that Jackson Heights area sounds like excellent urban design. A little bit of open space, a little bit of green beauty, and a place for kids to play sounds perfect to me. And it’s wonderful that the gardens are still treasured by the residents.

    Reply
  46. Yum. I’m planning a trip to London in September, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to explore. Thanks, Anne!

    Reply
  47. Yum. I’m planning a trip to London in September, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to explore. Thanks, Anne!

    Reply
  48. Yum. I’m planning a trip to London in September, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to explore. Thanks, Anne!

    Reply
  49. Yum. I’m planning a trip to London in September, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to explore. Thanks, Anne!

    Reply
  50. Yum. I’m planning a trip to London in September, and this is exactly the kind of thing I want to explore. Thanks, Anne!

    Reply
  51. Great post, Anne, thank you. When I am in London I sometimes have the chance to sit in the garden squares that are open to the public. Many have benches now and are used by people escaping from their office to eat their lunch or have a coffee. They always feel very calm, even in such a busy city.

    Reply
  52. Great post, Anne, thank you. When I am in London I sometimes have the chance to sit in the garden squares that are open to the public. Many have benches now and are used by people escaping from their office to eat their lunch or have a coffee. They always feel very calm, even in such a busy city.

    Reply
  53. Great post, Anne, thank you. When I am in London I sometimes have the chance to sit in the garden squares that are open to the public. Many have benches now and are used by people escaping from their office to eat their lunch or have a coffee. They always feel very calm, even in such a busy city.

    Reply
  54. Great post, Anne, thank you. When I am in London I sometimes have the chance to sit in the garden squares that are open to the public. Many have benches now and are used by people escaping from their office to eat their lunch or have a coffee. They always feel very calm, even in such a busy city.

    Reply
  55. Great post, Anne, thank you. When I am in London I sometimes have the chance to sit in the garden squares that are open to the public. Many have benches now and are used by people escaping from their office to eat their lunch or have a coffee. They always feel very calm, even in such a busy city.

    Reply
  56. I like my own garden, which I have here in Australia. Years ago when living in London, a couple of friends and I were locked in Regents Park. As many know this is a large public park, but in the 1960s and 1970s at least it still had a high fence around it which was locked at night (sunset I think). Anyway, we three, plus a boy and his bike, a lady and her dog, a business man taking a short cut through and a few others found ourselves well and truly locked in. It took some effort of shinning up wrought iron fencing material and help from passers by on the other side to get out. A very memorable disaster!

    Reply
  57. I like my own garden, which I have here in Australia. Years ago when living in London, a couple of friends and I were locked in Regents Park. As many know this is a large public park, but in the 1960s and 1970s at least it still had a high fence around it which was locked at night (sunset I think). Anyway, we three, plus a boy and his bike, a lady and her dog, a business man taking a short cut through and a few others found ourselves well and truly locked in. It took some effort of shinning up wrought iron fencing material and help from passers by on the other side to get out. A very memorable disaster!

    Reply
  58. I like my own garden, which I have here in Australia. Years ago when living in London, a couple of friends and I were locked in Regents Park. As many know this is a large public park, but in the 1960s and 1970s at least it still had a high fence around it which was locked at night (sunset I think). Anyway, we three, plus a boy and his bike, a lady and her dog, a business man taking a short cut through and a few others found ourselves well and truly locked in. It took some effort of shinning up wrought iron fencing material and help from passers by on the other side to get out. A very memorable disaster!

    Reply
  59. I like my own garden, which I have here in Australia. Years ago when living in London, a couple of friends and I were locked in Regents Park. As many know this is a large public park, but in the 1960s and 1970s at least it still had a high fence around it which was locked at night (sunset I think). Anyway, we three, plus a boy and his bike, a lady and her dog, a business man taking a short cut through and a few others found ourselves well and truly locked in. It took some effort of shinning up wrought iron fencing material and help from passers by on the other side to get out. A very memorable disaster!

    Reply
  60. I like my own garden, which I have here in Australia. Years ago when living in London, a couple of friends and I were locked in Regents Park. As many know this is a large public park, but in the 1960s and 1970s at least it still had a high fence around it which was locked at night (sunset I think). Anyway, we three, plus a boy and his bike, a lady and her dog, a business man taking a short cut through and a few others found ourselves well and truly locked in. It took some effort of shinning up wrought iron fencing material and help from passers by on the other side to get out. A very memorable disaster!

    Reply
  61. Lovely post. I have been to London, but I was always taking visitors around or attending the theater. Next time I visit, I’ll have a different focus. Thank you.

    Reply
  62. Lovely post. I have been to London, but I was always taking visitors around or attending the theater. Next time I visit, I’ll have a different focus. Thank you.

    Reply
  63. Lovely post. I have been to London, but I was always taking visitors around or attending the theater. Next time I visit, I’ll have a different focus. Thank you.

    Reply
  64. Lovely post. I have been to London, but I was always taking visitors around or attending the theater. Next time I visit, I’ll have a different focus. Thank you.

    Reply
  65. Lovely post. I have been to London, but I was always taking visitors around or attending the theater. Next time I visit, I’ll have a different focus. Thank you.

    Reply
  66. Another American condo owner here, but I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of central Ky., aka the Bluegrass, so in five minutes, I can be enjoying the sight of beautiful rolling countryside with plank fencing, barns that I would love to live in, and of course, the mares and foals.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of the London squares. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Reply
  67. Another American condo owner here, but I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of central Ky., aka the Bluegrass, so in five minutes, I can be enjoying the sight of beautiful rolling countryside with plank fencing, barns that I would love to live in, and of course, the mares and foals.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of the London squares. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Reply
  68. Another American condo owner here, but I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of central Ky., aka the Bluegrass, so in five minutes, I can be enjoying the sight of beautiful rolling countryside with plank fencing, barns that I would love to live in, and of course, the mares and foals.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of the London squares. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Reply
  69. Another American condo owner here, but I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of central Ky., aka the Bluegrass, so in five minutes, I can be enjoying the sight of beautiful rolling countryside with plank fencing, barns that I would love to live in, and of course, the mares and foals.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of the London squares. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Reply
  70. Another American condo owner here, but I’m lucky enough to live in the heart of central Ky., aka the Bluegrass, so in five minutes, I can be enjoying the sight of beautiful rolling countryside with plank fencing, barns that I would love to live in, and of course, the mares and foals.
    I really enjoyed the pictures of the London squares. Thanks for the lovely post.

    Reply
  71. I first ran into one of those private London gardens many years ago–early ’80s?–when visitng a new friend in London. She had a semi-basement flat that opened behind into this very cool garden square. The idea was new to me–I didn’t really think through the historical and socio-economic implications. *G* One of the Rosemary and Thyme British tv series, which features two gardening women who keep falling over dead bodies, is centered around just such a square. Me, I have pots and boxes of hard to kill flowers and a few herbs on my deck.

    Reply
  72. I first ran into one of those private London gardens many years ago–early ’80s?–when visitng a new friend in London. She had a semi-basement flat that opened behind into this very cool garden square. The idea was new to me–I didn’t really think through the historical and socio-economic implications. *G* One of the Rosemary and Thyme British tv series, which features two gardening women who keep falling over dead bodies, is centered around just such a square. Me, I have pots and boxes of hard to kill flowers and a few herbs on my deck.

    Reply
  73. I first ran into one of those private London gardens many years ago–early ’80s?–when visitng a new friend in London. She had a semi-basement flat that opened behind into this very cool garden square. The idea was new to me–I didn’t really think through the historical and socio-economic implications. *G* One of the Rosemary and Thyme British tv series, which features two gardening women who keep falling over dead bodies, is centered around just such a square. Me, I have pots and boxes of hard to kill flowers and a few herbs on my deck.

    Reply
  74. I first ran into one of those private London gardens many years ago–early ’80s?–when visitng a new friend in London. She had a semi-basement flat that opened behind into this very cool garden square. The idea was new to me–I didn’t really think through the historical and socio-economic implications. *G* One of the Rosemary and Thyme British tv series, which features two gardening women who keep falling over dead bodies, is centered around just such a square. Me, I have pots and boxes of hard to kill flowers and a few herbs on my deck.

    Reply
  75. I first ran into one of those private London gardens many years ago–early ’80s?–when visitng a new friend in London. She had a semi-basement flat that opened behind into this very cool garden square. The idea was new to me–I didn’t really think through the historical and socio-economic implications. *G* One of the Rosemary and Thyme British tv series, which features two gardening women who keep falling over dead bodies, is centered around just such a square. Me, I have pots and boxes of hard to kill flowers and a few herbs on my deck.

    Reply

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