The Gardens provide a mixed landscape and include a unique arboretum, a rockery, a bog garden, large park areas to play in and wooded areas to walk. They are a green oasis in suburban London.
Nature and planting
Robert Marnock's gardenesque design focused on trees and hard landscape with integral water features. The gardens have evolved over time and today include seasonal planting in a variety of beds. During the proposed restoration sympathetic changes will be made to enhance the garden experience.
Plans are under development to return the rockery to its former glory with specialised planting
Bog garden and pond
The area known as the Dell was once a Bog Garden and was fed from the water harvesting system. This is supported by the presence of the Swamp Cypress Tree a native of Texas and Missouri that is particularly tolerant of very damp sites. This area would have been permanently damp creating an area where moisture loving plants could thrive. The intention is to return this area to that of a Bog Garden by the reintroduction and refurbishment of the Water Harvesting and Irrigations system as intended by ‘Inky’ Stephens. The bog Garden feeds the cascade which inturn feeds the pond.
A variety of wildlife exists within the gardens and buildings. Some areas are set aside as protected habitats to protect specific species.
Dependant on the season and time of day you may see a variety of birdlife including; woodpeckers, sparrowhawks, herons, moorhens and tawny owls, on the ground you may see evidence of bank voles, stag beetles and foxes. The flora within the gardens attract butterflies and other flying insects. At dusk you may spot a pipistrelle bat.
The Bothy Gardens
The square shaped kitchen garden called the Bothy was built in 1882. Initially it comprised three walls with corner towers, a gardener's house with storage for carts, aquatic tank, potting shed and glass houses. It was made of mass concrete in a style that has a Moorish influence expressed in the tripartite form of the castellated walls and towers.
Today the garden looks quite different. It is now divided into three main areas. Where once the glass houses stood, there is now a large lawned area. The aquatic tank has been filled with plants, and there is a wild garden filled with unusual plants and a formal garden with box edging and a pergola draped in Roses.
The Bothy Gardens can be visited any Friday morning from 10:00 till 13:00 when a team of volunteers work to keep the garden in order. In addition it is also open on Open Sunday each month from February to October from 13:00-17:00.
Spike Milligan Statue
A statue of this comic genius sitting on a bench encouraging a 'Conversation with Spike'.