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70 Gloucester Crescent

London

Here is an oasis in Camden's urban density, where resourceful planting outflanks challenges of space and shade, and Mrs Dickens who once lived here is an amiable ghost. May open day occurs alongside other distinctive local gardens while an August opening shows how wonderful the month can be in a town garden. Other unexpected times of the year also worth another visit, especially September.
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    Once upon a time Mrs Charles Dickens lived at 70 Gloucester Crescent, with its little square patch of garden in front, a triangular piece to the side and a strip at the back. But the garden's history effectively began when John and Helen Hulton bought the house in the 1950s (their solicitor advised them not to, it was such a run-down area!) My husband and I moved in at the end of 1993, inheriting a garden with many good features, including trees around the perimeter, a pond (with toads) and a wisteria adding April-May glamour around the front door. We continued the Hultons' work, with notably an 8 m. diameter paved circle in the sunniest part, a path that links the different areas, and greatly enriched planting. Like many London gardens, there is much shade, from the adjacent terrace as well as trees, which need frequent pruning. But such site problems are a spur to creation. Edge-of-woodland is a very fruitful zone for flowers, especially in the spring. Paradoxically, from the 1990s I have been in contact with a garden in the Var, near Toulon (see 'Orves' online) for a number of years, and am a convert to Mediterranean plants, with their varied leaf colour and splendid structure. This also encourages me to be bold with colour associations, foliage patterns and textures. But the success of the garden lies in strong structure, of hard and soft materials, even if the latter - the plants - break the hard edges. Climate change, and Camden Town's microclimate, mean that salvias enrich the garden until the frosts. August is an exciting time in the garden, with brilliant colours, and tender foliage at its most luxuriant. Containers include Jenifer Jones's dramatic black garden pots. Smaller containers I move around to create seasonal interest. Recently, a friend made a plant theatre in an unused doorway, and we have created a small shingle garden at the front, very experimental - but Beth Chatto and Derek Jarman are great inspirations.

    The thinking behind the garden is contained within my book, Great Planting (1993), and my account of how the Hultons' garden is blended with our 1990s initiatives can be found in Gardens Illustrated, Feb-March 1997, pp. 44-49.

70 Gloucester Crescent- Canceled

Refreshments:

On this day, this garden is open by arrangement, which means that you will have to contact the owner to arrange visits for groups.

Pre-booking essential, please go to our events page to book your tickets.

Admission by donation

Admission:
  • Adult:
  • Concessions:
  • Child:

On this day, this garden opens as part of .

Admission also gets you entry to this garden in the area:

Click the dropdown arrow next to the opening date above to find details of entry costs and to add the opening to your online calendar.

Click on any opening date on the calendar above to find details of entry times, entry price and to add the opening to your online calendar.

  • Regular opening
  • Open by arrangement only
  • Cancelled opening
Owner Information

Lucy Gent
07531 828752 (texts please)
gent.lucy@gmail.com

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How to find us

70 Gloucester Crescent
London
London
NW1 7EG

Between Regent's Park & Camden Town tube station.

More about 70 Gloucester Crescent

Once upon a time Mrs Charles Dickens lived at 70 Gloucester Crescent, with its little square patch of garden in front, a triangular piece to the side and a strip at the back. But the garden's history effectively began when John and Helen Hulton bought the house in the 1950s (their solicitor advised them not to, it was such a run-down area!) My husband and I moved in at the end of 1993, inheriting a garden with many good features, including trees around the perimeter, a pond (with toads) and a wisteria adding April-May glamour around the front door. We continued the Hultons' work, with notably an 8 m. diameter paved circle in the sunniest part, a path that links the different areas, and greatly enriched planting. Like many London gardens, there is much shade, from the adjacent terrace as well as trees, which need frequent pruning. But such site problems are a spur to creation. Edge-of-woodland is a very fruitful zone for flowers, especially in the spring. Paradoxically, from the 1990s I have been in contact with a garden in the Var, near Toulon (see 'Orves' online) for a number of years, and am a convert to Mediterranean plants, with their varied leaf colour and splendid structure. This also encourages me to be bold with colour associations, foliage patterns and textures. But the success of the garden lies in strong structure, of hard and soft materials, even if the latter - the plants - break the hard edges. Climate change, and Camden Town's microclimate, mean that salvias enrich the garden until the frosts. August is an exciting time in the garden, with brilliant colours, and tender foliage at its most luxuriant. Containers include Jenifer Jones's dramatic black garden pots. Smaller containers I move around to create seasonal interest. Recently, a friend made a plant theatre in an unused doorway, and we have created a small shingle garden at the front, very experimental - but Beth Chatto and Derek Jarman are great inspirations.

The thinking behind the garden is contained within my book, Great Planting (1993), and my account of how the Hultons' garden is blended with our 1990s initiatives can be found in Gardens Illustrated, Feb-March 1997, pp. 44-49.

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