29 March 2010

Spying on the Cherry Garden

My last look at Ham House this time around is of the former Cherry Garden that is now a mathematicians delights with geometric shapes conjured from lavender, box and yew and with Bacchus held captive in the centre.

All this beauty can be spied on from one of the windows in the surrounding hedge that skilfully hides the garden and makes its discovery sudden and unexpected.

27 March 2010

Ham House's clean visage

Ham House is two very different buildings. The front, facing the river, is decorative and even fussy but the rear, facing the garden, is simple and regular with rows of large windows ready to capture views across Ham Common to Richmond Park.

24 March 2010

New grass

Every Winter the grass in the rear garden of Ham House is allowed to recover from the abuse of the previous year and much of it is relaid so that it starts the new season green, fresh and bouncy like a playful Pulp ditty. This is the main path through the Wilderness looking towards Ham Common via Melancholy Walk and Great South Avenue.

20 March 2010

Ham House from the garden

For reasons that are not important, I have free access to Ham House and Gardens this year so I will be going quite a few times and posting some of my favourite pictures here. I made a lightning visit this week (I was out of the house for less than an hour) to get an early view before the crowds arrived to blot the scene with their bright clothing and determination to linger when I am trying to compose a shot of the scene behind them.

17 March 2010


Anybody who has taken more than a passing interest in these photos will have noticed my penchant for bricks, especially when they are old and collected in walls. And this is a particularly fine example from Ham Street.

12 March 2010

New tree

I wish I could claim foresight but it is mere luck that I took a picture of the previous prisoner here less than a month ago. The old tree and its prison bars have gone and been replaced by a new tree and a new cage. At the moment the prisoner is rather dwarfed by the prison but the tree has patience and that will change.

7 March 2010


A recent walk at dusk along the tow path towards Ham House was made under the watchful eye of an imperious full moon that saw everything but made on comment or judgement.

4 March 2010

More unnecessary development

The thing I love passionately about Ham Lands is its natural beauty and I despair at anything that brings more of the built world in to this natural world. The latest unnecessary works are adding an edge to the path that leads south-west towards Kingston. Once again our money is being wasted in making the area worse.

3 March 2010

Ham Pond (again)

Ham Pond sits quietly in a corner of Ham Common where various busy roads congregate and so many casual walks through Ham take me past it as some point, much like the Three Men in a Boat could not avoid getting to the centre of Hampton Court Maze.

The difference is the Three Men in a Boat wanted to get out of the maze but walkers are delighted to discover the pond.

1 March 2010

Keeping fit

One of the many things that I liked about China was the beautiful and busy public parks where people walked, danced, sang, played games and exercised. The fitness machines there were very popular with people of all ages and were heavily used even in the dark. Now some of this equipment is being installed in the corned to Ham Village Green next to the shops on Ham Street. They are fenced off while the work is in progress but that has done little to deter people and they were in good use both times that I have gone past so far. That's a good sign for a good idea.