THROWING OPEN THE GATES TO BLOOMSBURY’S PRIVATE GARDENS
- Two Bloomsbury garden squares will be open to the public in June 2018
- Part of the Open Garden Square Weekend organised by London Parks & Gardens Trust
- Opportunity to meet the gardeners who care for the historic squares
Horticulture and history lovers will delight in the news that two private garden squares will be open to the public over the weekend of 9th and 10th June.
As part of the Open Garden Square Weekend, The Bedford Estates, the largest private landowner in London’s Bloomsbury, will open usually private Bedford Square and Ridgmount Gardens to the public.. The weekend also offers a chance to view part of The Estates’ Humphry Repton exhibition, the creator and designer of Bloomsbury’s finest garden squares. The displays will be brought down to Russell Square from Woburn Abbey and Garden’s extensive Humphry Repton exhibition which celebrates the Landscape Gardener’s bi-centenary.
Simon Elmer, Steward of The Bedford Estates in London, said: “Bloomsbury is an area renowned for its rich history, elegant period buildings and attractive natural spaces. It’s famous for its leafy garden squares, which provide areas of tranquillity and a sense of open, green places for the surrounding areas, despite the city centre location. We know people will love to see the shrubs and plants and meet our talented team that maintain them so well.”
Since 1669, much of the Bloomsbury area has been owned, managed and developed by The Bedford Estates. It is part of the holdings of the 15th Duke of Bedford, famous for Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, which has been the seat of the Russell Family since 1547. Russell Square, the centrepiece of the Bloomsbury development, was created by eighteenth century landscape designer, Humphry Repton. His work at Woburn Abbey included themed garden areas such as a Chinese garden, American garden and arboretum. Visitors looking for a day out away from London can visit the new exhibition showcasing Humphry Repton’s work at Woburn Abbey until 28th October.
Organised by London Parks and Gardens Trust, London Open Gardens is in its 21st year and is London’s most popular garden-visiting weekend. The annual event allows members of the public access to some of the capitals most exciting, private and unique gardens. The event highlights the significant social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens make to the capital and people who live in, work in and visit the district.
The Bedford Estates employs two full-time gardeners Thomas Abbott and Marianna Gazdikova. who are available throughout the weekend to be quizzed by the public on green-fingered gardening tips.
Visitors to the two London squares in June will have the opportunity to see the Capital through the eyes of famous names who previous lived there. The Bloomsbury Set was a group of artists and writers, most especially Virginia Woolf, who took its name from the district where they met. Other notable residents in Bloomsbury have included J. M. Barrie, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Ricky Gervais, Caroline Quentin, Paul Merton, Sir Hans Sloane, John Maynard Keynes and Bob Marley.
The Bloomsbury name emerged around 1201, following the acquisition of the land by William de Blemond, a Norman landowner. The name derives from Blemondisberi, meaning ‘the bury (or manor) of Blemond’.