23 June 2022

Fallen trees in Ham Common Woods

There are many paths winding trough Ham Common Woods and while I go in there quite often I am sure there are paths that I have not walked for a year or more and so I can still be surprised. On a recent walk I made a point of avoiding my usual paths and was rewarded with fallen trees.

This one did not cause much of a problem and it looked quite statuesque in its fallen state so I was happy to see it.


This blockage was far more troublesome and I had to back-track.

This may have fallen quite recently as normally when this happens a new path is created around the obstruction by determined walkers but there was no such path here, and there may never be as there are so many other paths to choose from that changing track is much easier than forcing a way through.

22 June 2022

Lovely garden

While too many people are replacing their front gardens with paving or fake grass there are still many gardens that spark enjoyment as I walk past. This example in Wates Estate, I forget exactly where, is a good one, the garden is small and all it takes is a few flowers along the borders to make something lovely.

21 June 2022

Progress on Hunter's Pond

There is quite a bit to do to make Hunter's Pond (under the bridge between Ham House and Hammertons Ferry) a special habitat but it is taking shape. The low barrier is there to provide shelter from the tidal flows.

20 June 2022

Platinum Jubilee Plaque

The Jubilee Plaque, on Petersham Road by the entrance to Deutsche Schule, has gone through a few changes over the year which are explained in the section at the bottom. The latest restoration was, fairly obviously, for the Platinum Jubilee this year.

I love the map partially because I love all maps and I love this one even more as it supports my theory that the nebulous Petesham extends little beyond this plaque.

19 June 2022

Big tree missing

All the remains of this mature tree on Ham Common is a low mound of shredded wood. It seems to have been felled and removed very quickly as I am pretty sure that I had walked past that spot just a day or two previously and the gap was not there then.

18 June 2022

1 Wiggins Cottages

Another in an occasional series of functional and decorative house number signs.

17 June 2022

Wild flowers

I have posted a picture of the wild flowers on Ham Village Green before and make no excuses for doing so again.

These and the other improvements to Ham Village Green, e.g. trees, seats and art, highlight how Ham Common is being left behind, it should be the focal point for Ham but it lacks the facilities to do so.

16 June 2022

The Good Wine Shop

The Good Wine Shop is, apparently, a shop though not a particularly local one so it is a little odd to see an advertisement for it on the front fence of the cricket club. Of course there is a good wine shop nearby, Taylor's, which is where I buy my wine.

15 June 2022

Fresh paint

The low rail and posts ringing Ham Village Green have a new coat of white paint and very smart they look too.

14 June 2022


While the large elephants in the area rightly draw a lot of positive attention this little one basking in a sunny front garden deserve some love too.

13 June 2022

New seats in Gate House Garden

The benches in Gate House Garden have got neat new seats sitting prettily on the old legs. 

12 June 2022

Royal Barge Gloriana

There was something of a crowd clustered around the Lock and on the Footbridge to watch the passing of Royal Barge Gloriana on Saturday 11 June, presumably to its home in St Katherine's Dock following some jubilee related activities upstream.

There had been talk of its permanent home being in Richmond or Kingston but it seems to be going to one of the many new riverside developments around the Greenwich Peninsular.

11 June 2022

Reji Grill opens 13 June 2022

What was Best Grill and Fish Bar, opposite the main entrance to Grey Court, is reopening on Monday 13 June as Reji Grill. The fare may be much the same but, for the moment at least, the frontage is smarter. I suspect it will soon be plastered with pictures of food to entice people in.

10 June 2022

A new look for the New Inn (2022)

The redecorated New Inn looks very different from when it was last redecorated in 2015. While the upper windows have remained white everything else has changed, including the pub sign hanging above Petersham Road on the far right.

The khaki green is a muted colour and while there is nothing wrong with it it does mean that the pub has less visible impact, especially as the colour of the text offers little contrast. I also miss the decoration on the pub sign which now just has (barely legible) text.

9 June 2022

Gas works

The area around the junction of Dukes and Broughton Avenues has been plastered with red plastic barriers for several weeks marking work on the gas main. 

8 June 2022

New benches on Ham Village Green

The incremental changes to Ham Village Green continue with the addition of two new benches alongside paths that cross the Green. They are markedly different to the curved bench that was added in 2019. On the plus side the new benches are higher off the ground which makes it easier to get on and off them but on the negative side they look more suited to a station than a village green.

7 June 2022


I am always a little saddened when I see fallen trees, especially ones as large as these, and I try to reassure myself that the people who cut them down knew what they were doing both in the felling of the trees and the leaving of the remains to provide habitats.

My only real concern is whether, overall, more trees are planted than are cut down in the area and I am not sure that is the case and there is certainly scope for planting many more substantial trees.

6 June 2022

Wild planting in The Plats

It is not that long since The Plats at Ham House were a festival of bulbs and now it is the time for the wild flowers to shine. It is because of the regular and imaginative changes the gardeners are making, added to the natural changes of the seasons, that make the gardens at Ham House well worth a regular visit.

5 June 2022

More grey

The last time I posted a picture of this major redevlopment in Burnell Avenue it was to comment on the grey roofs and this time it is to comment on the grey windows. Colour-wise these are less out of keeping than the roofs, which makes the colour a small negative and not a positive, but their design is not to my liking - I think that the windows in the top right corner are much nicer.

4 June 2022

Abandoned hoop

This basketball hoop has been long abandoned, judging by the encroaching brambles, and it waits patiently for a new generation of children to come and play. It may be a hopeless wait.

3 June 2022

Wild island

The little island in Ham Pond has changed over the years through both natural and human forces and at times it has looked quite barren, as in this example from 2014. This spring it is the opposite with a covering of thick vegetation. It is a healthier look.

2 June 2022

Sitting Buddha

There are a few Buddhas decorating houses and gardens in Ham but I have been a little remise in sharing them. I will try to fill in the gaps and here is one above a door in Ashburnham Road to start things off.

1 June 2022

Ormeley Elephants

The latest addition to the delightful and interesting gardens at Ormeley Lodge is this pair of bamboo elephants which I was able to enjoy at Ham Open Gardens. Ormeley Lodge is open again on Sunday 3 July and is highly recommended.

The most famous local elephants can be seen any time from the top of a 65 bus and other elephants at Montrose House can be seen at Petersham Open Gardens.