Mar 02

The private meadows of West Hampstead

During the final decade of the nineteenth century, a series of “secret gardens” were built behind the uniform façades of West Hampstead.

Broadhurst Gardens Meadow is the largest and lies to the rear of Broadhurst Gardens and Fairhazel Gardens. Like the others, it was established as the surrounding streets were built. It is carefully managed for its wildlife value. This is achieved through relaxed mowing regimes and leaving deadwood in situ to decay and attract a number of insects.

Compayne Open Space between Compayne and Canfield Gardens is split into three main characters. A hard surfaced tennis court area is located to the west of the site, in the middle of the site an open grassed area with a few scattered trees and an attractive, well laid out community garden to the east. This garden provides a private, secluded space in which to relax. A number of young trees and shrubs have been planted along with climbing species around trellissing to provide important vertical habitat.

Maryon Wilson Green Triangle and Goldhurst Open Space lies to the rear of Fairhazel Gardens and Goldhurst Terrace. It is a community garden with sycamore dominated woodland and ivy ground cover. There is an amenity area, well stocked herb garden beds and parts planted with shrubs and trees such as rowan, oak yew and silver birch. Flower and herb beds have been planted with species to attract insects. A pond has been incorporated into the site and hedging using native species has also been established.

Canfield/Greencroft Open Space between Canfield and Greencroft Gardens is a large open space with a variety of mature scattered trees providing shade, colour and wildlife habitat. To the east of the space is a community garden/allotment growing a variety of vegetables and herbs. The space is well used by residents living around the edge.

Fairhazel Open Space is between Fairhazel and Compayne Gardens is smaller and is comprised of open space at the centre with bands of mature perimeter trees. This gives a feeling of privacy and seclusion from overlooking buildings.

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