From botanical gardens to window boxes, these are South east London’s prettiest gardens and best garden designers to get inspiration for your own home


1 Eltham Palace Gardens

ElthamPalace boasts one of the few surviving examples open to the public of a 1930s Arts and Crafts garden. In the year 2000 English Heritage commissioned award-winning designer Isabelle Van Groeningen to establish a new garden in the dry south moat to reflect its long history. The original herbaceous border, that had been left to ruin, was replanted in a contemporary style, featuring exuberant plants capturing the spirit of the 30s. The border has a strong palette of colours, from early spring tulips and alliums to summer daylilies, poppies, catmint and Euphorbia. Be sure to visit the enclosed garden ‘rooms’, the Inner Court Garden, the Sunken Rose Garden, the Rock Garden and more.

Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich SE9 5QE; 020 8294 2548;


2 The Horniman Museum and Gardens

The Horniman Museum has a series of gardens that reflect its collections, including the Medicinal Garden, featuring a range of plants used to treat illness, the Food Garden, which celebrates the diversity of global food plants and the Arts and Crafts-style Sunken Garden, which has spectacular floral displays in spring and late summer. There’s also the hands-on SoundGarden, where you can create music on a giant scale, as well as the new Animal Walk, where visitors can enjoy a close encounter with alpacas, goats, sheep, rabbits and chickens.

100 London Road, Forest HillSE23 3PQ; 020 8699 1872;

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Horniman Museum’s gardens

3 Medlar & Cob Garden Design

Medlar & Cob, founded by passionate garden designer and RHS qualified horticulturalist, Nigel Jones, designs and creates beautiful gardens. Transform a forgotten space into a beautiful place for the family to enjoy the summer, whether you desire a sunny lawn for the little ones to run about, a terrace for entertaining, a flower garden or vegetable patch.

Harrington Way, WoolwichSE18 5RN; 020 8318 3081;


4  Blackheath Windowbox Company

Even when space is a premium, you can still fill the air with the scent of pansies and peonies while improving your home. Blackheath Windowbox Company, founded in 2011 by Kate Lonergan and Kirsty Thompson, is a bespoke, local containerised gardening company. The duo will furnish your windowsills with texture, shape and colour with a stylish combination of evergreens, seasonal flowers and herbs. Their eye-catching displays enhance your home and bring cheer to the neighbourhood.

Sun Lane Garage,Sun Lane, Blackheath,SE3 8UG; 07712 676 278;

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Blackheath Window Box Company

5 South London Botanical Institute

The garden at the South London Botanical Institute in Tulse Hill is densely planted with themed borders, formally laid out and separated by a grid of paved paths. The space is compact, but the garden contains over 500 labelled species. At the heart of the garden is the pond that provides a home for frogs and newts and support native wetland plants like water forget-me-nots.

323 Norwood Road, Tulse Hill, SE24 9AQ; 020 8674 5787;


6 Alleyn Park Garden Centre

Rated as one of London’s best gardens centres by Time Out and one of the 50 best in Britain by The Independent, the boutique-sized Alleyn Park is a must-visit. Alleyn Park emphasises UK-grown stock from small suppliers, including fruit trees (apples, pears, plums, cherries, quince), herbs and herbaceous perennials. Ornamental cherries are stocked in the spring, as well as weeping pussy willow and twisted hazel with their fabulous bare contorted stems in the winter and long catkins in the early spring.

77 Park Hall Road, West Dulwich SE21 8ES; 020 8670 7788;

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Alleyn Park Garden Centre

7 Acer Landscapes

East Dulwich-based Acer Landscape and Tree Surgery, a family-run business owned and operated by Phillip and Patrick Bacon, specialises in child and pet-friendly low maintenance gardens. Services range from landscaping and tree surgery to renovation and general maintenance. Transform a forgotten space into a beautiful place to enjoy the summer, whether you desire a sunny lawn for the little ones to run about, a terrace for entertaining, a flower garden or vegetable patch. 

Arch 1143, Bath Factory Estate, 41 Norwood Road, London SE24 9AJ; 020 8674 7719 ;