(Photo: Robin Saklatvala)
The garden at No.10 Downing Street has been enjoyed by Prime Ministers and their families, as well as visitors to the building, for over 280 years. The terrace and garden were constructed in 1736, shortly after Sir Robert Walpole moved into No.10.
The garden is dominated by an open lawn of half an acre that wraps around the building in an L-shape. There is a central flowerbed with flower urns, a bench and an arch. Tubs of flowers line the terrace and roses line the main pathway through the garden.
The garden also features an attractive bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, a pond and some lovely trees.
A small vegetable garden produces radishes, spring onions, beetroot, cress, carrots and leeks. There are bird-feeding tables where birds as exotic as a parakeet have been seen feeding.
The garden has provided an informal setting for a number of significant gatherings, including the press launch for the announcement of the coalition government in May 2010, and in 2011 a barbecue for military personnel hosted by the Camerons and Obamas. The London 2012 School Games competitors also used the space for activities.
In April 2014 a group of schoolchildren aged 10-11 years planted poppy seeds for the Royal British Legion’s Centenary Poppy Campaign, and in July of that year a reception with Joey the War Horse was held to commemorate WW1.
The garden also hosted the 100th anniversary birthday party for the Brownies, attended by 112 girls from across the country and in 2016 commemorated 400 years since the death of Shakespeare with leading actors spending the day coaching children for a performance in the garden.