Londoners and visitors will be able to explore more than 200 green spaces across 25 London boroughs during a weekend in June.
London’s Open Squares event will include many communal gardens normally closed to the public. There will be be guided tours in some of the gardens as well as plants, homemade jams and cakes for sale.
Among the new gardens for 2012’s Open Squares weekend will be the roof garden on top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames, the gardens laid out in 1850 at St Paul’s Churchyard in Covent Garden and Arlington Square in Islington, an early Victorian Square recently revitalised by residents who have dug in thousands of litres of compost and manure, planted 7,000 spring bulbs and 80 rose bushes and created a community vegetable plot.
The first Open Squares weekend was held in London in 1998 with 40 private squares taking part. One of the pioneers of the event is now working to develop the event in Dublin, Bratislava, Amsterdam and Prague.
There will also be guided walking and cycling tours, as well as two downloadable podcasts and self-guided bike rides. Tickets for the weekend cost £9 when bought in advance and £12 during the weekend. Special group rates are available.
This year’s Open Squares weekend will be on 9–10 June, the weekend following Britain’s Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.