28 June 2012

Across the Kitchen Garden

This is the view looking across the Kitchen Garden at Ham House where you can see the jumble of flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruits that are grown for the cafe and house.

Beyond that is the wall that isolates the Kitchen Garden from the formal rear garden whose business is pleasure rather than function. A round arch lets us spy on that garden when a mother and her young daughter are walking on the Plats.

27 June 2012

Flowering all-sorts

The gardens at Ham House are always being tweaked a little and each visit brings new discoveries.The area where you see the most change is the Kitchen Garden which provides food for the cafe and flowers for the house.

It is laid out in blocks, allotment-style, with each bed packed with a variety of useful plants. The beauty of this may be accidental but it is there for all to see.

26 June 2012

Into the Wilderness

The Wilderness is my favourite part of the garden at Ham House and this picture shows just why that is. It is superbly green (helped this year by the non-stop rain in April), the hedges hide the other people there and the choice of paths tempts you to explore the myriad smaller gardens within the larger one.

24 June 2012

Old door in an old wall

The Garden of Reason adds spice to Ham House but it is important to remember that the garden there is always worth visiting for the mix of pretty and interesting things that you can find there.

This door fits neatly in to the interesting camp, and I think it is pretty too. You can find it in the south-east corner where, if it opened, it would lead you out towards Ham Polo.

23 June 2012

Rover hides at Ham House

For those who need reminding, Rover was the large white inflated ball in The Prisoner that stopped people from escaping from The Village. This is Rover with a more modern dress. It's ineffective hiding place is one of the alcoves to the  side of the main entrance of Ham House. It's partner is on the other side.

The pretence Rover has for being at Ham House is the Garden of Reason exhibition and it hopes it can trick us in to thinking that it is a work of art. I am not fooled.

22 June 2012

Cheeky statue

The oval space at the centre of the Wilderness at the back of Ham House has some new residents thanks to the Garden of Reason. Arranged around the outer edge of the oval, where the paths run off in all directions, is a collection of unusual pieces.

This lady is the most striking of them but she is not the most unusual, that honour probably goes to the knotted lamp post.

19 June 2012

Red pyramid on the Plats

Looking back towards Ham House across the Plats the brightest installation in the Garden of Reason is impossible to miss. What is also obvious is the way that the new steps echo those at the rear entrance to the house.

18 June 2012

Garden of Reason at Ham House

The Summer Ham House plays host to the Garden or Reason exhibition and series of events. The garden is the gallery and a few objects and installations have been placed throughout it. There are only a few so finding each one is an act of discovery.

Except for this one. The large metal pyramid sits on the large lawn at the back of Ham House and so is completely unmissable. It is also a climbing frame and that means that it is normally smothered in children.

16 June 2012

A corner of Ham House

It is easy to see where this picture was taken from as the main entrance to Ham House is just over the wall on the left but this is not a view that many people see as there is usually no reason to go in to this little walled garden that only has one entrance and exit.

I was in there for two reasons. Firstly I like going to place that most people ignore as that allows me to get different views of things and the other reason was to hear a sound installation that plays out across a number of speakers that have been put in to the garden.

The sound installation is part of Ham House's Garden or Reason, and I will be showing more of that in here over the summer.

14 June 2012

Alien landscape

I keep coming back to Lock Jumps Club by Teddington Lock because the shapes are dramatic and I love the concept of the club, all this has been built by local people. On the damp day I took this a group of boys were repairing some of the jumps that had been damaged by falling rain and bouncing bikes.

13 June 2012

A walk on the wild side

Riverside Drive is behind you but there is no evidence of that here, or of anything else that is man-made. This is a path that takes you deep in to the heart of Ham Lands and it is hard to resist the temptation to take it just to see where it takes you.

11 June 2012

A sparkle of solar panels

I did ask what was happening to the pavilion in Riverside Drive and, thanks to a comment made by a reader, I learnt that solar panels were being installed and so I made a mental note to go and take a picture of them when the work was finished. And I did.

The surprise is just how many there are. One panel generates about 250W and a typical installation will have 8 or 16 panels, here there are over 100! I presume that they are doing that to sell the electricity back to the grid, either that or it is very very hot in there.

10 June 2012

Matching door and flowers

I like this door by itself because of its colour and the way that the substantial frame sets it off. I like it even more when the wisteria is in bloom to challenge the door in the battle for the purple prize. But flowers come and go and so the door wins out in the end.

9 June 2012

Where the wild things grow

Great South Avenue can be quite dull. It is too straight and too clean, especially when the mowers have been allowed to wreak their carnage on the wild flowers and grasses that dare to grow anywhere near the pristine path.

But just before the mowers come the borders are resplendent in their wildness and, just for a moment, everything is right with the world.

5 June 2012

Farm Lodge

Farm Lodge is one of the neat cottages squeezed in between Montrose House and The Fox and Duck. The trellaced porch is typical of Petersham and they can safely be used to define its borders. The shutters and flowers are nice extras.

4 June 2012

Colourful elephants

The rear garden at Montrose House is full of unusual objects, some of which have featured in this blog before, but they have all been upstaged by the arrival of two extremely colourful elephants.

I presume that they were part of Elephant Parade London 2010 and were bought in the charity auction afterwards. I liked most of the 260 elephants that I managed to find but I am not sure that I would have bought either of these let alone put them in a prominent position in my garden.

1 June 2012

Wisteria and glass

The garden at Montrose House is bit of a curate's egg. One of the good parts is the old wisteria that cloaks the wall above the sympathetic conservatory and leaves just about enough space for the windows.