At first the view isn't very promising, and it is only when you reach the end of this side path that the garden reveals itself.
A huge triangle of green stands before you, bordered by pruned plane trees, which stand guard between the garden and the backs of long terraces of houses. Coming in at about three acres in size, this is an amazing space to have to yourself as you step out from your back gate. A mini Highbury Fields or a Clapham Common in fact.
Residents pay rent for their garden, under a rent charge deed issued in 1981-2 by the Church Commissioners, who used to own Maida Vale, where the garden is located. The new design, incorporating open space with pockets of planting, has been through five meetings to thrash out and explain the changes and seven or eight draft plans - a good example of consultation to create beauty from the back windows of the houses. As I left the garden, the houses began to take over the space as the path led up to the exit, and I turned sadly to recall the magic of the garden beyond. A quiet place in the day, and busier in the evenings when families return home from work and school, this garden will only be open to the public over Open Garden Squares Weekend, on the afternoon of Sunday June 18th. With the weather forecast set to be fair and sunny (fingers crossed), it's time to stride out and visit a hidden gem.
This year there will be a new Hidden Gem Treasure Trail, and you can find all the details on our Open Garden Squares Weekend website. Look for the logo shown above and fill out the entry form. Visitors can visit four 'Hidden Gems' and enter a competition for a unique opportunity for tea at Duck Island Cottage, shown below. Formosa Garden is a prime example of a hidden gem garden in London. Don't miss it.
Further information on visiting Formosa Garden on Open Garden Squares Weekend.