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The beautiful blooms of the Cheyne neighbourhood


Words by Alan Russell

To mark the start of the Chelsea Flower Show, we visit some of our favourite gardens in the surrounding streets

Chelsea's gardens

Chelsea is famed for its gardens. Such as the glorious grounds of the Royal Hospital, which each year host the flower show. Or the secluded charms of the Chelsea Physic Garden, founded by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in 1673 to grow medicinal plants.

One beautiful garden that is now lost belongs to the grounds of the old manor house. This dated back to the founding of Chelsea, but in 1536 it was acquired by Henry VIII and rebuilt on a grander scale. Later the house belonged to Cheyne family, who gave their name to the nearby streets of Cheyne Walk, Cheyne Gardens and Cheyne Row.

These streets occupy the former grounds of the manor, which was demolished in the mid-eighteenth century. Many of them have large gardens of their own, to match the impressive Georgian and Victorian houses. Here we visit several properties currently on the market to take a closer look.

Cheyne Gardens

This garden offers a paved seating area, planted borders and an elegant water feature at the far end. A protected lime tree dominates the space, providing shade and shelter in the summer months.

The garden also contains magnolias, camellia, a palm tree, and a fig tree, giving this English garden a subtropical feel. Each spring, the beautiful mimosa comes into bloom.

The garden has a separate gate for a gardener. Furthermore, two sets of stairs give access from the ground and lower ground floor.

Click here to see further details of this magical house.

Cheyne Walk

This enchanted garden contains a mix of paved and cobbled terraces. Wooden tables, chairs and trellises add to the informal feel of the seating areas.

Potted plants and window boxes maximise the greenery and create a layered effect.

Cheyne Row

This tasteful garden features black-and-white tiling, with a Grecian key pattern along the border. It also contains a paved area with a wrought-iron bench and a glass table set on three seated lions.

At the back of the garden, a latticed arbour provides a shady alcove for a bench. Meanwhile, creepers and climbers cover the rear wall, with Calla Arum lilies creating a beautiful splash of white.


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