Alexandra Cottages

In the heart of Penge, SE20

Browsing Posts in Gardens

11am to 12pm this Sunday – April 13th

If you only come along to Community Gardening once a year – please make it this Sunday to help with our big planting session!

With help from Alexandra Nurseries we have some lovely new plants to put in to the raised beds in Edward Road and the area next to the bus stop and the vets in Parish Lane.

For those of you with tiddlers, there will also be a range of delightful garden inspired arts activities near the raised beds in Edward Road. Last month they had great fun printing cherry blossom using sticks of okra and making butterfly shaped suncatchers.

So please dig out your trowels and join us. We will meet by the raised beds in Edward Road and then those of us without tiddlers to keep and eye on will move on to Parish Lane!


Sunday April 13th – 11am to 12pm will be a big push on planting up our communal gardening spaces. Please come along – and enjoying seeing the fruits of your labour grow and bloom over the coming year! Sarah from the Alexandra Nurseries is very kindly helping with the planting plan.

There will be gardening themed activities for children – so please bring them along. In March the tiddlers made wonderful butterfly shaped suncatchers and decorated tree branches with cherry blossom.

As we have lots to do we’d really love to have as many people along as possible – so please put this in your diary now and save the date.

Many thanks

Community Gardening Group


Come and join us for a spot of Community Gardening and enjoy the blaze of colour that is currently to be found in the raised beds in Edward Road – and perhaps pick up a few ideas for plants that might give your own patch some springtime sparkle.


Much of the current display is thanks to the hard work of Anna and Margaret over recent years. They’ve had to step back on leading on these beds, so we’re keen to get other people able to lend a hand to keeping them blooming over the coming months. Come and be a part of this and help bring a bit of happiness into the lives of your neighbours!

If you have babies or young children, we will have a volunteer on hand with a few gardening themed activities – so bring them along!

Afterwards anyone who fancies it is very welcome to come along for a bowl of soup at the Alexandra Nurseries (special rates for volunteers!)

Hope to see you by the raised beds in Edward Road 11am-12pm.


Many thanks to Matthew, Edward Road for the lovely pictures.

Here are the judge’s comments and results.




Princes Road



No. 9


Garden planted with architectural plants in pots to include tree ferns make a low maintenance contemporary floral display.

No. 3


A well maintained garden using shrubs in pots to include Cordyline and Hydrangea.

No. 4


Architectural planting with traditional shrubs in pots make give seasonality.

No. 8


Rupert Bear tends the roses in this garden. Very nice it is too.




Hardings Lane



No. 1


Cottage style garden, well maintained with excellent array of planting giving an excellent display.

No. 14


Seasonal colour, lots of flower pots and well maintained.




Albert Road



No. 54


Contemporary front garden using random laid black paving and brickwork, punctuated with box ball hedging and planted in a traditional way. Good variety of plants and shrubs to include , Roses, Canna and ferns to give all year round seasonal interest.

No. 33


Garden laid on a diagonal using random laid sandstone paving. Planting needs time to mature but undoubtedly will look fantastic in the future.

No. 55


Red brick path with low maintenance puddled slate centre piece providing interesting colour and textures.

No. 38

Highly commended

A well maintained neat and tidy garden.

No. 35

Highly commended

A garden full of pots and geodes provide with varied plant choices make this garden visually very interesting and fun.




Edward Road



No. 62


Granite sett/pea shingle entrance planted in a cottage style with a good choice of plants and seasonality.

No. 70


The living arch will provides a spectacular focal point. Good choice of materials providing interesting colour and texture.

No. 83


A charming garden with a good choice of plants for seasonal colour.




Victor Road



No. 135


Lovely, low maintenance garden with interesting plants and textures. The use of flower pots give the garden structure and seasonal interest.

No. 126


A pretty cottage style garden using brick- on- edge to form a circular focal point.   A good array of planting to include Hydrangeas, Euonymus, Fuchsia, Roses and Pyracantha.

No. 108


A stunning display of planting to include Lavender, Fuchsia, and Hydrangea. Flower pots and window box give a beautiful floral display.

General Comments

Edward Road:  The communal flower beds in Edward Road provide welcoming displays of structural plants and seasonality.

There’s no excuse for next year!!!! With the recent opening of the Alexandra Nursery, who provide a fabulous array of plants and shrubs to compliment every garden situation, the standard for next year will be undoubtedly even better. Well done!

Many thanks to Penny Read (Parks Partnership Officer at Bromley Council) for arranging the judging of our front gardens.

The judges were Janet Berlin, organiser of the Bromley NSPCC Open Gardens and RHS “London in Bloom” judge, and Jane Rand, Penge in Bloom.

Here are their comments and results.




Princes Road





A tidy garden. Shingle and pebbles added interest. Good variety of flowers grown



A stunning group of interesting plants in pots. There were a few dead leaves that should have been removed



Some nice colour but needs a tidy up




Hardings Lane





Two fairly good hanging baskets, lots of colour. We liked the inclusion of the roller.
The planting petered out by the hedge



Garden a little untidy but a pleasing show of cottage garden type plants




Albert Road





Well maintained and interesting garden with good variety of plants. We especially liked the unusual lilies



The vegetable patch well maintained and planted. Some colour and interest in bedding plants



A slightly haphazard garden but we loved the hollyhocks




Edward Road





We loved the use of Victorian edging. A neat garden with good use of pebbles. Some good planting in containers and hanging baskets . More density of planting would give a better effect



We loved the obvious attention to a pink and lavender colour scheme. Cobbled drive most effective



A tidy garden . Lovely roses and clematis



Nice plant variety, Could have more colour




Victor Road





Some lovely planting.
Garden well maintained. Interesting attention given to comparative heights of plants. Pretty alpine rockery. Lawn needs attention.



A charming front garden with lots to see. Well maintained and a good choice of plants and pots.



We loved the planting in the raised bed. Some good colour . Hanging basket looked pretty and hedge well cut. Sweet peas looking promising

General comment

On the whole we were rather disappointed that more front gardens had not been brought up to scratch for judging. The small size of most of the plots meant that a pleasing result can be achieved with relatively little effort.

The gardens that won prizes should be congratulated on giving passers by an enjoyable experience , we certainly loved seeing the variety and colour even though the constant rain damped things down. Well done to the organisers and participants.

A big thank you to Janet and Jane for braving the rain last Sunday and their comments.

Janet Berlin’s Garden will open to the public on Sunday 26th June in aid of the NSPCC:

Open Garden Sunday 26th June 2-5pm Entry £2
36 Downs Hill, Beckenham, Kent. BR3 5HB

ln June this prize winning garden looks very different from the first opening in May. Come and see the many unusual plants and trees, ponds and woodland areas, several patios and hundreds of plants in pots. Teas and home made cakes, raffle. Entertainment from a Jazz Band.

In spite of the heavy rain, the Open Gardens event was a success!

Here are some pictures of the 17 gardens that were open to residents and their friends.

(If the slideshow doesn’t play, you can access the pictures here).

On Sunday June 5th we will be holding our fourth Open Gardens event.
We hope that all our enthusiastic gardeners are already making plans to open their gardens and we look forward to hearing from you.

We hope that 15 back gardens will be open on the estate during a four hour period from 2 pm.

    Each household

can purchase a ticket for £3 to visit any of the gardens that are on the “open” list.
The ticket can also be used by friends and family.

There will be a raffle, a plant stall and hopefully we will continue into the evening if a suitable venue can be found.

We need to know by the end of April if you are willing to open your garden so that the list can be compiled and the tickets printed.

Please let us know if your garden has any special features, is a particular type or has plants of particular interest so that details can be included in the programme.

Please contact Shirley, 131 Victor Road (020 8778 9422) or us here if you are willing to open your garden or if you need any further details.

Many thanks to Jim Heath & Ross Howie for judging the Front Gardens on July 16th.

Jim Heath and Ross Howie

These are their comments and results:

The front gardens were judged against the following criteria:
- variety and quality of plants;
- range of colour;
- structure of garden design including any hard landscaping;
- level of maintenance;
- and overall immediate visual impact [“wow” factor].

Additionally, hanging baskets, window boxes and planters were judged and places awarded across the estate.

Each road was awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd places and, where appropriate, Very Highly Commended (VHC) or Highly Commended (HC).

From those road winners, an overall estate winner was chosen.

Street Place Comments
Princes Road
4 1st Good range of plants plus pots and hanging baskets. Well maintained.
9 2nd Nice variety of plants albeit little in flower. Very good condition and well maintained.
5 3rd Nice variety of plants and good use of space.
Hardings Lane
14 1st Very colourful, lots of well maintained pots with good planting
15 2nd Good range of plants although less colourful that 2009
1 3rd Nice cottage garden though not as well maintained as 2009
10 HC Good window boxes, hanging baskets and pots
Albert Road
35 1st Rich variety of plants, good structure and excellent colour range. Very well maintained.
19 2nd Very good range of plants in hanging baskets, & good rose containers. Well maintained
54 3rd Good rich variety of plants including vegetables though limited colour range. Nice cottage garden feel.
53 HC Good cottage garden.
Edward Road
62 1st Very attractive planting and colour range. Well maintained. Nice hanging baskets and window box
70 2nd Good mix of plants, though perhaps not so colourful as 2009
85 3rd Good planting, excellent hanging baskets, well maintained
106A HC Good range of plants, good hanging baskets. Well maintained.
Victor Road
108 1st Excellent range of plants & structure with efficient use of planters and pots
117 2nd Very good colour combination and texture plantings,well maintained hanging baskets
135 3rd Good structure and range of plants,lacking in colour from previous visit 2009 and grass needed better maintenance
163 VHC Big improvement from 2009, good use of hard landscaping,needs better colour palette
130 HC Very nice tubs and planters
138 HC Good structural planting but spoiled by pile of pulled up dried weeds left in view
Hanging baskets/window boxes planters
85 Edward Road 1st 4 baskets all of high standard of planting and maintenance and door planter very good
107 Victor Road 2nd Excellent basket of large flowered Begonias – difficult to keep maintained in hot weather but was very good quality
63 Edward Road 3rd Nice colour combination window box,well maintained
73 Edward Road HC Good mixed planting in hanging basket
10 Harding Road HC Good range of well planted window boxes

Overall ARA Estate Winner: 35 Albert Road