Bedford Park in Chiswick west London was the world’s first garden suburb when it was built, work started in 1875 and Richard Norman Shaw, the leading architect of his day, was commissioned to design the new houses. Shaw’s house design, in the Queen Anne style, proved extremely successful and the development flourished.
Today I’m here as part of the Bedford Park Festival, every year selected houses open up their gardens to members of the public. Whether you’re interested in gardening or like me just generally nosy, it’s a great opportunity to take a peek behind the high walls and hedges of the luxurious properties that make up this lovely conservation area.
Following the map that I was provided with – shown above – I set off on my Bedford Park walk. As you can see each house was given a number on the walk and I have written about the one’s which interested me the most.
House Number 1 – Bath Road
This densely planted town garden has been arranged as three “rooms” using lots of evergreen trees and shrubs creating a variety of colours. Roses, geraniums and perennials provide summer highlights of white and purple.
House Number 3 – Woodstock Road
A formal front garden with a privet hedge with side access leading to an elegant family garden at the back with lawn and box edged parterre to one side. Plants include olive trees, mature shrubs and yew hedging.
House Number 4 – Queen Anne’s Gardens
A very established garden whose owners enjoy experimenting with new ideas. A garden filled with various pieces of sculpture as well as mature shrubs and perennials, a beautiful multi stemmed silver birch tree and a cloud pruned pittosporum.
House Number 5 – Blenheim Road
A beautifully designed garden making the most of the triangular plot with three distinct areas that provide formal planting for shade at the front of the house, a lawn and borders filled with interesting plants to the side and a paved terrace and water feature at the back.
House Number 9 – Marlborough Crescent
A densely planted and colourful front garden filled with roses, clematis and other cottage garden plants contrasts starkly with the lawned back garden which includes a central water feature, hostas and a bamboo screen.
House Number 10 – Marlborough Crescent
This contemporary family garden is characterised by dynamic curves. Four interconnecting brick circles and a box edged circular lawn create space for playing and socalising.
House Number 11 – Queen Anne’s Grove
A very large garden that still creates a feeling of calm. The gravelled front garden is elegant and pretty with clipped yews and bays and silver foliage plants.
House Number 12 – Queen Anne’s Grove
A mature garden well planted with perennials, shrubs and climbers. The classical architectural framework is mixed with lush romantic planting creating a tranquil private oasis. There is also a water feature, a pergola and sculpture by Emily Young.
House Number 13 – Queen Anne’s Grove
This striking modern garden was one of my favourites and features a bold water feature, beautiful established palms and tree ferns. A rectangular pond runs across the width of the garden with white lilies and hostas planted in a narrow bed against the house.
House Number 14 – The Avenue
A pretty little Japanese garden that surrounds a studio / workshop. Water, gravel, beautiful acers and bamboos together with a Japanese teahouse built by the owner.
Well that was my little jaunt around the gardens of Bedford Park in Chiswick. I hope you enjoyed it. If you’d like to see some more photographs and some of the gardens that weren’t featured take a look at my pinterest page.