Open Garden Squares Weekend

We had some very important dates in our diary at the beginning of summer. It was the weekend of 9th and 10th of June when Open Garden Squares Weekend took place. More than 200 gardens all over London were open to public. Bedford Square and Ridgmount Gardens were no exception to this.

Visitors came in great numbers. Bedford Square and Ridgmount gardens received 1200 people through their gates. Lovely volunteers provided by the London Parks & Gardens Trust were guarding the entrances and selling the tickets. They did a great job and for that we want to say to all of them a big 'Thank you!'.

What we couldn't control but exceeded our expectations was the weather. Beautiful sunny days, lovely people, gardens at their best, everything just clicked together.

We had a small addition to the show this year. We are celebrating the bicentennial of Humphry Repton's death, the first man who called himself Landscape Gardener. Although he didn't design any of the gardens we look after he did design Russell Square and Bloomsbury Square as well as Woburn Abbey Gardens. This was the theme of a small exhibition our marketing team set up at Russell Square to connect us to the past and also to the worth-to-see Repton exhibition at Woburn Abbey.

Walking around the gardens and talking to the curious visitors I not only grew with joy and pride because of their positive remarks about what they had seen but also I learnt new things. I suddenly saw the gardens I work in five days a week from a different perspective. There were several plants people liked and most of them I could identify. Others I had to look up later. The favourites of the weekend were: Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea), Prunus serrula, Philadelphus, Viburnum tinus, Euphorbia, Knautia macedonica, Pachysandra.

I cannot but smile when I think about the whole experience. It was better than I expected and worth all the hard work.

Marianna Gazdikova,

Assistant Gardener