Sunday 7 June 2009

National Garden Scheme at Choumert Square, Peckham, south London

A mews hidden away in the back streets of Peckham, Choumert Square is two terraces of around twenty modest mid-Victorian workers cottages facing each other across a flagstone path. Period street lamps, colourful facades and some tiny, but luscious, front gardens add to the special ambiance of this unusual street. Surprisingly, there is even room for a handful of mature, gnarled trees. Once a year, as part of the National Gardens Scheme, the householders set up stalls selling tombola tickets, glasses of Pimms, lavish cakes, homemade lemonade, nick-nacks and other wares for charity. At the far end of the mews, a woodwind and brass band plays cheerful tunes in the tiny square where there is just enough room to sit down with a glass of wine or a cup of tea. On the day the square opens for the scheme, admission is £2.50 for adults and 50 pence for kids. 7/10