Notting Hill Communal Gardens – The Garden Design of Rosmead Gardens

Rosmead Garden is one of the most beautiful of the garden squares in Notting Hill, part of the Ladbroke Estate which also includes Arundel Gardens, St John’s Gardens and the largest – Ladbroke Square.

Rosmead Gardens Notting Hill
‘Natural Landscape’ tree planting in Rosmead Gardens, Notting Hill

Originally the 140 acres which make up ‘The Hill’ was the site of the notorious Hippodrome Racecourse and when it closed in 1842, Thomas Allom’s master plan included generous communal gardens laid out inside concentric crescents on the site. The outer mansion crescents were finished in the 1860’s, these days the gardens and the surrounding mansions are some of the most sought after properties in London.

Japanese Acers in Notting Hill Communal Gardens
Japanese Acers under planted with Phormiums

It’s not hard to see why – these pastel coloured mansions are now mainly brought back to single house status with their own private gardens opening directly onto some of the largest and most beautiful private gardens in the capital.

Topiary in Formal Gardens in Notting Hill
Topiary and Formal Gardens in Landsdowne Road Communal Gardens

These gardens are a sanctuary for wildlife, entirely enclosed by the surrounding residences they have a wealth of exciting trees and shrubs laid out as a ‘natural landscape’.

Purple Cordylines growing in Notting Hill's communal gardens
Purple Cordylines thrive in this London micro-climate

Maintained by residents’ garden committees, the gardens are cleverly planted and maintained to provide year round interest. Ancient, indigenous trees have clematis and jasmine trailing through their branches and are under planted with hortensia, tree fernsJapanese Acers, evergreen camellias and flowering magnolias, there are wild hidden corners and more formal areas and the pathways lead you through secret enclosed arbours of rambling roses, passing wisteria clad walls and clipped yew hedges. This is a romantic garden and it’s not surprising that this location was chosen for shooting the 1990’s romantic comedy ‘Notting Hill’.

Rosmead Garden - Film Location for Notting Hill
Rosmead Garden – Film Location for Notting Hill

The private gardens are open to the public every year as part of the National Gardens Scheme . Each individual private garden opening out to the communal garden are highly individual in design – the microclimate here enables tropical planting to thrive, designs include Japanese style planting using Acers and Japanese cloud trees to great effect, understated Mediterranean planting using ancient olive trees, fig trees and pencil cypress or very formal gardens with topiary and clipped box hedges, using pleached trees for screening.

Topiary Gardens and Mediterranean Planting
Topiary and Mediterranean Planting | Elgin Crescent Gardens

One thing they all have in common is a place to sit, to eat al fresco and enjoy the peace and the abundant wildlife. Hard to believe you’re in the centre of London!

Al fresco dining area - Notting Hill communal gardens
Al fresco dining area in the gardens of Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill

These vast open spaces are mainly hidden from view and really are a secret haven – they are, however, open to the public for just one day each summer as part of the Open Squares Weekend initiative, where residents man the lemonade stalls and visitors are allowed in to view the stunning planting and to chat to the people who actually garden here.

Wisteria and Camellias in romantic garden designs, Notting Hill
Wisteria and Camellias in romantic garden designs, Notting Hill

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