Private institutional, commercial and communal gardens in all parts of London are welcome to take part in Open Garden Squares Weekend. The event, which originally created access to private squares in central London, now embraces a wide range of little known and hidden green spaces across the capital.
We are interested in gardens of all shapes and sizes, from the historic and traditional, to the new and experimental - in the air, on the ground or climbing the walls!
“Roll on next year. Lovely people, as always, visit our garden and enjoy being there.”
Earls Court Square, 2012
What types of garden can take part?
Gardens which take part can be:
- Garden squares, old and new
- Communal gardens of private residential developments
- Gardens of private institutions eg religious establishments or city livery companies
- Community gardens and allotments
- Gardens belonging to shops, offices, hotels or restaurants
- Gardens attached to public buildings or other institutions, such as schools, hospitals or museums
- Gardens of historic interest, or attached to historic buildings that are in public ownership.
Most of the gardens which take part are not normally open to the public (or have limited opening times) and are hidden or not fully on view to the public. They should have at least one of the following attributes:
- Historic significance »
- Design interest
- Community significance
- Horticultural interest
- Environmental importance
A small number of public gardens are included in the event where there is a specific reason, for instance because they want to attract more attention and can offer activities or interpretation designed for the event, have recently been redesigned or restored, or have received a recent award, such as a Green Flag.
How can you apply to take part?
If your garden would like to take part, please email us to arrange a visit. It would be useful if you could tell us:
- The name of the garden
- Where it is
- What sort of garden it is.
Once you have contacted us, we will arrange a time to view your garden and discuss arrangements. For the convenience of visitors, we try where possible to arrange clusters of gardens in an area and coordinate opening times. Visitors greatly enjoy talking to residents and/or the people who run the gardens, and we therefore ask you to provide at least two volunteers to oversee tickets and greet visitors on the day. If this is difficult, we may be able to help with providing volunteers.
Profits from ticket sales are shared between participating sites and help to support the work of the London Parks & Gardens Trust. Gardens are also welcome to raise money and/or awareness for their own causes.
For further information, please call us on 020 7839 3969 or email us.
The Heritage England's Register of Parks and Gardens sets out criteria by which the historic significance of parks and gardens is judged, and includes sites laid out up to 30 years ago. These criteria act as a guideline where sites are included for their historic interest in OGSW. For more information on the English Heritage criteria, go to https://www.historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/drpgsg-urban-landscapes/