30 June 2016

Green roof on a cute garage

I have a very big soft-spot for garages, as anybody who reads this blog regularly knows. I would have included a picture of this one anyway because of its setting and it became impossible to ignore when I noticed the green roof.

29 June 2016

Merlewood in Hazel Lane gets a new fence

This was another one of those moment where I had no idea what was there before but I noticed that it had changed. The new fence is very neat and tidy, it is also quite tall. The gate next to it had a hand drawn house sign which I hope means that a proper sign is on the way.

28 June 2016

Flax Cottage gets a facelift

Flax Cottage on the west side of Ham Common has had a fresh coat of paint and looks all the better for it. The work finished a few weeks ago but I delayed taking a photo of the new look because there were usually cars parked in front and also because I thought that the work was not quite finished.

If you look closely at the porch over the front door you can still see the house name peeking through a coat of paint. I presume that it is there to guide somebody who is going to paint a new one though that has not happened yet.

27 June 2016

Field of buttercups

Ham Lands is fundamental to the character of Ham as it provides plenty of space to walk in with little evidence of human life, apart from the incessant line of planes sinking towards Heathrow.  I like to post photographs of it here from time to time just as a reminder of how wonderful it is.

26 June 2016

High waters

High waters are a feature of the riverside in Ham and they add considerably to the character of the place. Sometimes the high tides block my route along the towpath towards Richmond but I do not mind in the least as the joy of watching the water flow into and out of the flood plain far outweighs the minor inconvenience of having to wait, take an alternative route or just get wet.

One of the place that the water finds it easiest to escape the river and head into Ham Lands is next to Douglas Footpath and a substantial bridge has been built there because of it. Standing on that bridge gives an excellent view of the invading water.

25 June 2016

Putting boundaries around the Huf Haus

The new Huf Haus continues to be a major point of interest in my walks and I go past it most days just to see if anything has changed. While it is hard to tell what is going on within the house there have been significant changes to the boundaries.

At the back of the house, facing on to Back Lane, some hornbeams are being trained to fill the gap between the trees and they will effectively mask, if not completely hide, the house.

I watched the front wall go up and had a good chat with the man doing the work. At first I was not sure about the colour of the brick but once the wall was complete I was convinced. It is a lovely wall and entirely suited to the area. I think I would have made the gate a little wider though.

Some hornbeams have been added here too. There are more trees at the front so fewer hornbeams were required and at the moment they look a little awkward, not quite a hedge. I suspect that they will grow into the role.

24 June 2016

Working on The Old Vicarage in Petersham

Sudbrook Lane has featured regularly in my walks for the last few months because of the extensive works going on at The Old Vicarage. Here the extent of those works is evident with all of the substantial approach to the house churned to mud as is the side of the house were there used to be a pretty formal garden stuffed with tulips.

My interest in The Old Vicarage grew when the front wall started to be rebuilt. I love brick walls and this gave every indication of being a good one.

The finished entrance was even better than I expected with plenty of railings to soften the impact of the brick and to allow a good view of the house. The drive curves enticingly and what used to be little more than a car park is now a lawn with trees.

23 June 2016

A gang of trucks in Riverside Drive

This looks like a group of service trucks for a film crew though that is something of a guess because there was no sign of any occupants or any activity. Of course Riverside Drive is a convenient place to park a lot of large vehicles and the occupants could have been anywhere within quite a wide area from Teddington Lock to Ham Street.

22 June 2016

An exotic collection at Redknap House

Cleves Road goes nowhere so there is no encouragement to walk down it unless you happen to live there of are visiting. And even then, you have to go right into Rednap House to see this fine collection of garden gnomes.

21 June 2016

Redknap House in Cleves Road

I do not venture down Cleves Road (off Back Lane) very often because it does not lead anywhere but exploring Ham means going down dead-ends occasionally just to see what is there and so I recently found myself at Redknap House at the end of Cleves Road.

I had been there before and took a similar photo eight (!) years ago. That one was marred by parked cars so it was nice to have none obstructing the view this time.

20 June 2016

Cedarwood in Church Road

Cedarwood in Church Road has always been one of my favourite houses locally and I always pause to look at is as I walk past, as I do regularly.

The house was brought to my attention when it popped up on rightmove (which is a great way to find out about houses in the area) with a sale price of £4.5m. It is hard to judge the value of a unique property but that seems very reasonable when compared to some of the much smaller properties that are asking for over £1m. I shall not be buying it though.

19 June 2016

Birds with boots on

I have walked through the short passage between Yeovilton Place and Kestrel Close many times without incident and then recently I was brought to a sudden stop by the sight of two birds in bid yellow boots standing on a fence. I love surprises like that.

18 June 2016

Improving garages in the Wates Estate

I have posted many pictures of garages over the years and these have normally been in a poor state of repair or in the process of being demolished to make way for new housing. This time the story is different and more positive.

Somewhere in the Wates Estate, I do not recall exactly where this is, a set of garages has been given matching dark blue doors and the space between them has been resurfaced with fresh concrete. It all looks very neat and tidy.

12 June 2016

Gort House

One of the things I like most when out on my regular walks is finding a door or gate open when it is normally closed. And that is how I came to take my first photo of Gort House on Petersham Road in nine years and over 2,000 photos.

I knew what to expect as I had seen the house many times from the top floor of 65 buses (I always travel on the top floor because of the views it gives over walls) and it was nice to finally be able to see it without the interference of dirty glass.

11 June 2016

Blue paint

I like the footpath that runs behind Petersham Road from Sandy Lane to Sandpits Road for several reasons and mostly because it is very rare to find anybody else there so it is one of the quietest places to walk locally. It is also one of the more interesting because of the way that it divides the gardens of the cottages in Petersham Road.

On a recent visit my attention was grabbed by this light blue wall and the darker blue door that were something of a shock in a scene that was predominantly brown.

10 June 2016

Rooster at large in Petersham Close

I do not usually take pictures of single ornaments because they are fickle things and move easily and so may not be there the next time that I go looking for them. I had to make an exception in this case as I loved both the rooster and its setting. The colours stand out nicely against the white wall and the rough concrete steps and an industrial touch.

9 June 2016

48 Sandy Lane

I have been critical of Sandy Lane in the past because I feel that it lacks character and I do not enjoy walking there so it is good to redress the balance a little by pointing out one of the pretty and well presented houses that live there.

Number 48 is almost in the middle of Sandy Lane on the north side. Like most of the houses there it is mostly hidden from the road by high bushes which also serve to hide the traffic from the houses. So the best way to see it is, of course, to walk.

8 June 2016

56 Ham Common

St. Michael's Convent on the north side of Ham Common is number 56 and it proclaims that with a neat little sign on the lesser entrance to the right of the plot. The sign looks new, which would explain why I had noticed it before, whereas two of the four screws look almost as old as the lovely brick wall they hold it on to.

7 June 2016

POG2016: Elm Lodge

My simple plan was to pick just one photo of each of the twelve gardens in Petersham Open Gardens 2016 but with Elm Lodge, on Petersham Lodge, I had to pick two and even that was a big struggle.

Like many of the gardens Elm Lodge had some very different sections and these included a large play area, which all the children enjoyed, and pens housing chickens and pigs. And the more traditional parts of the garden had some surprises, like the two deer hidden in the border by the drive and the secret path by the front door guarded by two stags.

Well away from the children's play area was, in my view, the best part of the garden is the water feature at the shady side of the house.

This is a closer look at the heron in the top left of the first picture. It's not just the heron that I like here, it's the rain-rippled water, the green water plants, the red flowers and the grey stone ball. Put them all together and the combination is quite striking. 

6 June 2016

POG2016: Harrington Lodge

Harrington Lodge in Sudbrook Lane was another Petersham Open Gardens regular and I was pleased to be able to go there again. I had spent most of the day taking photos of borders so this time I've selected a picture of the exquisite brick patio area next to the house made even more attractive by the addition of an old pot and the flowers within it.

5 June 2016

POG2016: Downlands

Downlands was new to Petersham Open Gardens in 2016 and so I was particularly keen to see it. My interest had been piqued by walking past the entrance (at the end of Petersham Close) many times over the years and wondering what was behind the gate.

This was another garden that a new owner had done substantial work to reclaim it and with considerable success. The garden was designed to sit in and enjoy with careful planting and convenient seating. It was a simple design but it just worked very well.

4 June 2016

POG2016: Ginnels House

Ginnels House in Sandpits Road was new to Petersham Open Gardens in 2014 and it was good to see it back again in 2016. The garden still while new had matured a little, and nicely, with the promise of more to come.

The garden was arranged in different sections around the house, There was a large lawn for playing on along one of the long sides while the other side sloped steeply down to a line of trees. The short side at the far end had this vegetable garden with an immaculate greenhouse. It also had a shaded area to sit out in next to a water feature but that was behind me so you cannot see it.

3 June 2016

POG2016: Twntyre

Twntyre, the Huf Haus next to the Russell School is another one of those places where visitors are as interested in the house as they are in the garden. That is completely understandable as it is a modern Huf Haus but this was Petersham Open Gardens so I am showing the garden.

The main structural feature of the garden is the pond and water channel by the entrance at the side of the house but that attracted hordes of children and so I was unable to take a picture of that. The other structural feature is this pond sitting close to the house in one corner of the back garden.

2 June 2016

POG2016: Wirral

Wirral at the far end of Bute Avenue is a lovely garden that is well looked after. I have visited it several times and it refreshes me every time.

It also benefits from backing on to Richmond Park as that adds to the sense of peace and tranquillity. This is an ideal garden for enjoying sunny afternoons in.

1 June 2016

POG2016: Arreton Cottage

Arreton Cottage was one of the new gardens in Petersham Open Gardens 2016 and very welcome it was too because of all the quirky things in it. This picture shows just a few of them and gives some idea of just how odd some of the objects were and also how carefully they were arranged within the garden.

Elsewhere in the good-sized garden was an Airstream caravan and a toy dinosaur hiding among the flowers. There was a lot to see and enjoy and I spent quite a bit of time exploring the garden looking to see what else I could find.