Monday 31 August 2015

5 years of opening for the NGS

This will be our 5th year opening for the NGS, I have a certificate to prove it and everything!

The amazing thing has been how different each year has been. Our first opening was about 18 months from when we were first accepted into the book, and boy was that a long wait of stressing and crazed gardening...all compounded by buying the derelict bottom two halves of our neighbours gardens. It was of course at that point that I also started this blog!

The first year it also rained :( so we covered our terrace and looked grumpy, but 30 minutes in it stopped and then it was fabulous! Looking back the garden was so so different...we hadn't even cleared the top half of the garden and the path just stopped at our biggest pumpkin patch and piles of rubble!

The next few years were much easier, there was sunshine and there was a lot of cake. After I was on Gardeners World there were also a lot of people, and it is humbling how some people have been every year.

The garden does of course evolve and ever year is different in terms of seasonally where we are at and different garden experiments and changes. This year there has been a lot of editing and perfecting as I am trying to be tough and move things that don't work.

The first year the slugs reacted really badly to our opening. Half the garden was also not even cleared and stopped suddenly! this is the area where we found and restored the pond! now you cant even see the fence...

There is always good cake! Below from one of the early openings, we have since moved the greenhouse to make a better seating area

Year 1 hiding from the rain with our Christmas table cloth as it was the only one that was waterproof!
The great thing about the garden is that there is enough space to just enjoy things and lots of chairs!

Some years you really can't get the staff....

2 giant pots! 2 days to go!

I love a big pot and these are the biggest! The Chinese one was a gift from a very generous friend, and the other a very recent buy from Lots Road.

The new pot was a bit of an adventure when we realised that our side door was 79cm wide and the pot was 80cm! all the other doors in the house were about 60cm! who knew! However, it got there in the end.


Sunday is almost here! 2 days to go!

6 deities

6 days to go! 6 different deities 

Lots of different gods and spirits grace the garden. Ganesha is a favourite as he is the creator and destroyer and has guided the creation of the garden. Then there are some hand carved spirits of the garden. Come see for yourself!

Sunday 30 August 2015

Visit our Camberwell exotic jungle garden: open for one afternoon only for the NGS! Sunday 6th September 2015

On Sunday 6th September from 2-5:30pm, our garden will be open for one afternoon only to raise money for the charities supported by the National Gardens Scheme
The Yellow Book says....
An exotic garden full of the exuberance of late summer inspired by travel in Southeast Asia. A jungle of big leafed plants, bold colours and shapes including bananas, dahlias and towering Paulownias. Huge hidden garden gives unexpected size with ponds, bee hives, sunken terrace, productive area. Lawn and lots of hidden corners give spaces to sit and enjoy. Renowned for delicious cake!

Also available is:

- Lots of lots of cake
- Plants for sale
- Camberwell honey from the bees in the garden
- Preserves and jams (sold in aid of the Grove Park Tree bases group)

To find us we are at 24 Grove Park, London, SE5 8LH (the Chadwick Road end of Grove Park) Driving should be relatively easy as there is lots of street parking, and we are about 10 mins walk from either Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye Rail stations. If you want to eat our favourite restaurants that are 5-10 mins away are Ganapati (Indian) you will need to book, Victoria Inn (pub food). If you want the full Camberwell experience we are about 15 mins walk from Camberwell Green and eat at the Crooked Well or Camberwell Arms.For the super cool go to Franks Cafe in Peckham for an amazing view and unexpected experience...

However, whatever you do leave lots of room for cake!


7 different strings of bunting

7 days to go!!!

Bunting and having the right ambience to be able to sit and have a nice bit of cake and a cup of tea is an important part of our garden opening. Over the years our bunting has grown as Mum has made more and more...primarily out of our old shirts!


Saturday 29 August 2015

8 Paulownias

My Paulownias are the plants that everyone asks about and we have 8 of them! Most are cut down to the ground every year and all the growth you see is this seasons!

8days before the opening!

full details at

Wednesday 26 August 2015

9 days to go! A choice of at least 9 cakes

Cake is a very important part of an NGS opening and we pride ourselves in the tea and cake experience! Usually at any one time there is a choice of at least 9 different cakes! get in there quick before they go!

10 Tetrapanax

10 Days to go! and what better plant to celebrate with than Tetrapanax of which there are over 10 in the garden. A must for the jungle garden for its primordial elegance and HUGE (yes that was capitals and bold) leaves. Perfectly hardy and way more exciting in the flesh