27 May 2016

POG2016: 2 Cedar Heights

Petersham Open Gardens is one of the local events that I never miss and in 2016 it was even more unmissable with good weather and some new gardens to see plus some old favourites.

The first garden that I went to was one of the new ones, 2 Cedar Heights. The simple and flat front garden, which most of the houses in the road have, was no clue was to what was behind the house. The garden dropped down steeply away from the house and then climbed up again at the far end. In the middle was this pond fed by water falling down from the upper level.

25 May 2016

Blocked door

One of the things that I like most about Ham is the way that paths thread through most of the developments making it easy to get around an exciting to explore. I deeply regret the few places where paths have been blocked and there are a few of these in Wates Estate.

I investigate the many collections of garages and several of these have exits that are not obvious until you get right into the parking area. I almost expect an exit to be there so it is something of a disappointment when there is not one. In this case it looks as though there used to be another way through but it has been blocked leaving its mark in a redder brick.

Update: See the comment below for the full story on this blocked door.

23 May 2016

Extension in Northweald Lane

I do not feature extensions here that often as they are a common sight and I prefer to highlight the unusual. I have made an exception in this case partially because extensions in Royal Park Gate are less common with it being only twenty years old and also because the substantial amount of scaffolding make a dramatic picture (in my view).

It is too early to tell what the extension will look like and if it is interesting then I'll take another photo but I suspect that it will be something timid in keeping with the rest of the house and will be less impressive than scaffolding required to construct it.

21 May 2016

Playground in Sandy Lane

I have been meaning to take a photograph of this playground for quite a long time but I prefer to take pictures without people in them (I am definitely not going to take one with children in) and it has always been busy when I have been passing. Until this day.

The playground is towards the west end of Sandy Lane and is one of the main playgrounds in the area, going by the amount of equipment in it. The other two are not that far away on Riverside Drive and Ham Village Green. This one has been well looked after and both the equipment and safe surface are in good condition.

19 May 2016

Bringing flowers to Maguire Drive

One of the things that I love about Ham is that way that almost all of the mayor developments have been constructed with green spaces in them. These significantly reduce the visual impact of the buildings and have environmental benefits too. This fairly typical example is in the south-east corner of Maguire Drive.

The well established tree has clearly been a feature of this space for many years and more recently it has been joined by some flowers in a raised bed. Both are very welcome. Grass has its merits but it is also flat and has a uniform colour and I like things that vary both.

17 May 2016

Exploring the paths between the houses

I spend a fair bit of time exploring the many paths that run through Ham and the first thing that I have to do is find them as many of them are not on the map. Actually that depends on which map you use and OpenStreetMap is the best one for the local paths but only because I have been updating it. When I explore I use the MapMyWalk app on my phone to see where I have been and I use this to draw in the paths on the map.

Many of the paths have dead-ends and I have to go back and try another route. Often there is no other route out and I find myself back on the road where I started. When things work very well I find paths between roads that I did not know before, such as those that run between Sheridan, Mowbray, Lovell and Cleves roads.

Most of the paths are passable, even if they go nowhere, but occasionally they are blocked by dumped rubbish. Luckily most of the paths are clear and are well surfaced so exploring them is not that difficult and it is always rewarding.

15 May 2016

Little lion in Rushmead

There is a small car park on the corner of Rushmead (Road) and Croft Way that I assume also serves Meadowview which is in Ashburnham Road but has an entrance here too. I was being nosey by walking through the car park and I am glad that I did as I found this little lion by the gate.

The bricks show just how tall it is and as it is at the back of the flower bed I had managed to miss it on all the previous times that I had walked past there. 

13 May 2016

Bells in Ham Gate Avenue

I like pretty things in gardens as much as I like brick walls so I love this combination which can be found at one of the cottages in Ham Gate Avenue. They are set back from the road and I always take the path that passes in front of them so that I can spot things like this.