30 May 2011

White roses in Bishops Close

As Bishops Close curls slowly around South Lodge there is a little patch of ground that could be left alone ugly and unloved but somebody does care for it and a clutch of white Yorkshire roses add a touch of brightness and life.

29 May 2011

Boats resting by the weir

Walking across the footbridge at Teddington presents you with this view of contrasts. In the foreground we have still boats moored quietly near to the Teddington shore and in the background the Thames argues violently with the weir that breaks its journey to the sea.

The weir also battles the tide as it tries to force its way upstream. Most of the time the weir wins and the tide is tamed but just occasionally the tide manages to creep over the top of the weir and make its way towards Kingston.

28 May 2011

Tower in the water

Technically this is on the Teddington side of the river and so it not actually in Ham but this is my blog so my rules apply and so it qualifies for inclusion.

The area around Teddington Lock is a bubble of bustle and motion surrounded by the stillness and calm of Ham Lands. It is easy to get caught up in the mood of the place and to pass through quickly without appreciating what is there.

A more leisurely walk across the footbridge gives you time to ponder the constructions within and around the river, such as this tower. The angles of wood are attractive enough but, even better, the tower is literally topped-of with metal crowns to protect the wood that are just a little bit more decorative than they need to be.

27 May 2011

Three bird baths

Petersham Nurseries continues to exhibit unusual and interesting objects that some adventurous person might want to put in their garden. New arrivals in this category are these three bird baths. They are in a lovely shade of grey and are nicely simple with just a hint of decoration. I want one.

But you have to look hard to find them as the wall that they are leaning against idly is at the far end of the nursery where only the most intrepid explorers go.

26 May 2011

Petersham House and topiary

Petersham House, like many other former hunting lodges locally, is a solid slab of brick riddled with white Georgian windows. It is no better than its neighbours, and is less interesting than some, yet it holds its own in a strong peer group.

The lawn next to the house may be a little to big for my liking. It is rescued from mediocrity through regularly planted bushes that have been teased in to geometric shapes.

25 May 2011

Silent statue

The garden at Petersham House is fairly traditional with a large lawn leading to a formal border against a high wall with a few sculptured bushes, mature trees and aged but still interesting garden furniture to add some further interest.

There is also a statue of a man standing quietly in one corner trying hard not to draw attention to himself while he keeps a keen eye on the house. There is a sense of purpose in his gaze that we can only wonder about.

24 May 2011

Bigger jumps

Every time that I go the Lock Jumps Club down by Teddington Lock it has grown bigger and more exciting. This jump on the North edge of is almost as tall as me.

The enthusiasm and effort that have gone in to building up the complex of jumps is obvious and is to be applauded. I just wish that I was young enough to have a go myself!

23 May 2011


I have no idea what this is or does but I do know where it is and that it looks very interesting. You can find it by the little access road that runs behind the West side of Ham Parade.

I presume that it manages the supply of petrochemicals to the nearby garage but that is just conjecture and does not really matter. What does matter is that the shapes and colours are unusual and that gets you in to this blog.

22 May 2011

St Andrews House

St Andrews House on Upper Ham Road has a new tenant who has brightened up the place considerably. Previously it was an anonymous office but now there is a show area for women's dresses and further examples of the clothes available are displayed on the door.

21 May 2011

Petersham Lodge

When exploring the large and varied garden of Petersham Lodge it is easy to overlook the house itself, but that would be a mistake as its classical proportions, regimented windows, bright finish and Spring greenery make the house rather exceptional.

20 May 2011

Pond at Petersham Lodge

Petersham Lodge is one of the best houses locally and is blessed with one of the very best gardens. It has wild bits, formal bits, flowery bits, vegetably bits, hedgey bits and lawny bits but pride of place goes to the large pond that sits gently between the end wall and the large lawn.

Taking one of the many paths through the wild parts either side of the pond takes you to a Romanesque folly where you can sit and look back towards the house. And with a view like that it is something that you would want to do quite often.

19 May 2011

The Fox and Duck

I go to the Fox and Duck from time to time, especially when there is live music on (Echoes and The Thin White Duke are both very popular and highly recommended) but somehow it has escaped appearing here until now.

The main reason that it has not featured before is because, to be frank, it is pretty ugly with its flat featureless front and bare seating area. This does not compare favourably with, for example, the heavily flowered Hand and Flower a mile or so down the road. Which is a shame as I've always found it to be a welcoming and friendly pub.

16 May 2011

Ham Open Gardens 2011

The Ham Open Gardens Event
Ham Common, Sunday 22 May 14:00 - 17:00

Tickets: £8 each or 2 for £15 (free entry for under sixteens)
Buy on the day at the Ticket Tent beside Ham Common Pond

14 May 2011

Newark Lodge is being refurbushed

I'm astonished to discover that I've never posted a picture of Newark Lodge before. It's a local landmark due to its position on Petersham Road just as it bends to allow Sudbrook Lane to join it. It's height and closeness to the road give it a commanding presence which it did not quite live up to due to general dishevelment.

It was sold recently and was described by the selling agents as "in need of refurbishment throughout". And this is now in progress. I hope that when it is completed that Newark Lodge can add clean and bright to its attributes allowing it to make the most of its location.

New porch

Little did I think that when I took a photo of a typically quirky porch on Petersham Road in October 2009 that I would be back less than two years later to record what has replaced it.

The good news is that the character of the porch is unchanged, but then this cottage is in the Petersham Conservation Area and so I guess the owners had little choice in the matter. The bad news, for me, is that it is much less quirky now that all the lines are straight!

10 May 2011

Gatehouse in bloom

I am sure that I've taken a picture of this Gate House to Great South Avenue before but it demands to be featured again with its rampant wisteria and bushy bushes combining to disguise the cottage as just another part of the now disappeared woods.

The cottage faces Ham Common but sits a little back from it as if unsure that it is worthy of being there. This reticence adds to its charm, like a shy d├ębutante, and it justifies its place alongside its bigger and coarser neighbours.

8 May 2011

Wisteria at Ormeley Lodge

Ormeley Lodge keeps a safe distance from the other local lodges, many of which are packed uncomfortably around Ham Common. Its relative isolation and woodland setting help Ormeley Lodge to stand proud and aloof in its commanding position on Ham Gate Avenue.

Now that the scruffy hedge either side of the front gate has been tamed a little the house is more exposed and can be appreciated more.

7 May 2011

Broken bollards

Tudor Drive and Dukes Avenue were designed as wide roads in the expectation that they would lead to a new river crossing but that plan was shelved and we were left with a fast road to nowhere. The boy-racers of Ham love this and speed along recklessly.

The Council responded by building a chicane and a traffic island by the junction with Dysart Avenue. This is reasonably successful but there are a few racers who see this more as a challenge than a restraint and they still speed through. Sometimes they are not as good at driving as they thought that they were and the bollards take a battering.

5 May 2011

Sprucing up Park Gate House

I await with interest to see what is going on under the sheeting once the works at Park Gate House are completed. I hope that it is more of the same as I welcome the shock of the solid white square blocks of the house that greet you just as you emerge from Richmond Park through Ham Gate.

3 May 2011

A corner of Petersham Nurseries

I keep returning to the corner of Petersham Nurseries that is still a nursery, where the rows of colourful flowers and shy shrubs fight a rearguard action against the ever encroaching restaurant and tea room.

2 May 2011

Angled bricks

I love brick, as anyone who wades through these pictures can tell, and I love the unusual too so unusual bricks are going to get my attention.

These oddly angled and shaped bricks are part of the chimneys of Rosebank as viewed from Petersham Nurseries. This is the only example of brickwork that I have seen like this and the only excuse that I can think for it is beauty, and that's a good enough excuse for me. The unwanted shadow comes from a satellite dish that rather spoils the effect.

1 May 2011

Chinese dragons

One of the attractions of The Palm Centre in Ham Street is the splendid collection of bamboos the most eye-catching of which are the very tall ones that you can walk through and the fashionable black ones.

In keeping with these is a bright red Chinese style box complete with dragons. I've no idea what it is meant to be, perhaps just a bird feeder, but it looks exotic and that is all that matters.