31 May 2016

POG2016: Montrose House

The large garden at Montrose House is filled with an eclectic mix of objects including two large elephants and, new for this year, a large tortoise. However, I have avoided the temptation to feature one of those (I have shown most of them previously) and gone for some thing more traditional instead.

One corner of the garden has lots of space to sit out in and that corner is enriched by a large water feature which makes all the soothing noises that water features are meant to make. I think it is very attractive too so it is something to look at as well as to listen to.

30 May 2016

POG2016: The Glasshouse

The Glasshouse is an other top attraction in Petersham Open Gardens though that is probably due as much to the house as it is to the garden.

That garden is deceptively spacious and it easily swallowed up the dozen of people who were there at the same time as me. Because of the large number of people there I had to struggle and wait to get some decent shots of the garden without including people wearing distracting bright clothing. The bright white walls are good at showing off the structural plants but also good at showing off bright clothing too.

29 May 2016

POG2016: Petersham Lodge

Petersham Lodge is always one of the highlights of Petersham Open Gardens because there is so much to see there and this year was no exception.

The biggest change was the secluded garden next to the house which had been completely redesigned and replanted. The garden was so new that we were not allowed into it and had to be content with looking into it from one of the two entrances. It will be something to look forward to in two years time.

28 May 2016

POG2016: Rosebank

Rosebank was the second garden that I visited in Petersham Open Gardens 2016. It was a garden that I had been to several times before and while it was much as it had always been the house had grown a little (and very sympathetically) at the back which reduced the size of that part of the garden somewhat while leaving the features there intact.

My favourite feature in the garden at the front of the house was the planting around the edge with the lovely brick wall behind it.

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.

11 May 2016

Rebuilding Sandy Lodge

Sandy Lodge in Sandy Lane gives the impression that it has either been extended several times or is a collection of separate cottages, and now it is growing again with an extensive refurbishment. I quite like the Arts and Crafts feel that it has with the bold front door, circular windows and tile cladding, and I hope that it still has that feel when the work has finished.

9 May 2016

A brighter look for Hardwicke House

Several houses on Ham Common have got a new lick of pain this spring and are looking all the better for it. One of these is Hardwicke House on the corner of Ham Common and Martinsgale Close. It faces south and slightly to the east and so gets lots of sun which makes it look even brighter.

7 May 2016

Protecting the hedge by King Georges Field

Not long ago I reported that the hedge by King Georges Field at the north end of Ham Street had been so brutalised that people were walking through it. Richmond Council have now recognised that problem and have constructed a fence alongside the hedge to protect it while it grows back. Of course they would not have to do that if they had not cut the hedge so much in the first place.

5 May 2016

Ham Glebe emerges

I have been following the arrival of the new Ham Glebe for just over a year now and finally we can start to see what the new house is going to look like. It's a modern look but not viciously so and it looks similar to some other houses nearby.

The dark shallow bricks are very contemporary and I think that I would have liked to see more of them to break up the whiteness of the near corner, however I will reserve judgement on that until the house is finished. Hopefully I will have a picture of that before too long.

3 May 2016

Hog Cottage in Petersham Road

I do not walk along Petersham Road that often because the heavy traffic means that it is not a pleasant walk and when I do the main reason is to look out for interesting views to post here. Views like this one.

The entrance to Hog Cottage, No. 331, is quite delightful. The hard structures, the red brick garden wall, the grey iron gate, the paved steps down, the brick path, the white wall of the cottage and the house sign  are all neat and tidy, and the profusion of pots and plants livens everything up. It is very welcoming.

1 May 2016

Flowers at Rushmead

Rushmead, the road, leads nowhere so I do not walk along it very often instead, like most people, I cut across the grass to Riverside Drive but doing this means missing the pretty flowers that decorate the entrance to the block of flats that make up numbers 1 to 6 Rushmead.