Front Gardens

The people who owned it before, he put the rose bushes in, and there’s a passion plant all over the window, and when I first came to look at the flat, it was huge, it was all over the window, all over the door, and it was the middle of summer, it was a gorgeous day, and I walked in, and I stepped into the hallway and I said, this is it, this is the flat. I’d looked at about 15. And I knew. I didn’t even really need to look around, I put in an offer and that was that. So it was kind of the front garden and the entrance way that made me want it. I think it’s the nicest garden on the road. When the roses are all out and the passion flowers are out, it’s really lovely. And when the light comes in through the window in the afternoon it’s so gorgeous, it’s really peaceful, and the light’s beautiful, you can see all the shadows from the plants coming in.

Claire, Carr Road

E: Well, at one time, they used to have somebody come round and cut the hedges. But then when they didn’t have enough, you know.. you had to do them yourself. So that’s why the hedges all got out of hand. And they changed the hedges, one was light and one was dark like, if you know what I mean. But like I say this little man used to come, didn’t he Clive? Used to come around and cut the hedges.

C: We’re lucky we got the yellow ones, they’re the slow growing ones

Eileen and Clive, Courtenay Road

Thorpe Crescent is amazing, because I think as you come further away from Forest Road the properties get a bit bigger but the roads open out as well, and we’re unusual here, there are a few crescents along here, but we’ve got a beautiful green outside, which is amazing, so we’ve got a flowering plum tree outside, which is stunning at this time of year, and then we’ve got a massive acacia tree further along. It’s a really nice block of people, we all get on really well, well not all of us but most of us, so in the summer there’s often impromptu get-togethers on the green outside, either during the day or hanging out drinking wine until late in the evenings, with the kids all playing together, it’s a really nice place for the kids to play, so it’s perfect, I love Thorpe Crescent, it’s my favourite part of Walthamstow.

Jennie, Thorpe Crescent

K: We did have a front hedge and I don’t remember why we decided to chop the hedge down, but we did. Why did we do that? Oh yes, I did have an attempted trim at one point but it just looked bald in places. We do have a very pretty small tree at the front, when it’s pruned it looks very nice, it’s not bonsai but it’s a miniature very small tree. And another interesting thing, we had a black iron gate on the front, and I was away and Rezia found out that there were some people in the area trying to nick the gates, and she heard some kind of scraping or knocking, and they were knocking holes into the brickwork to try and get it off- where did you find it, was it still on there?

R: It was in the bush next door!

K: They’d dropped it into our next door neighbour’s bush! And we found out there were at least like two other people, who were unlucky and it had just gone. So there’s no iron gate on there, we’re keeping it in the back. So you know not only the houses, but the iron gates are in demand.

Rezia and Khaled, Elphinstone Road

J: The garden has been influenced by Derek Jarman’s garden, and I’m interested in recycling, which is where all the totems of plastic bottles idea has come from. Also I’m a great believer that people should do things with their front gardens. I like to think we encourage people to be creative with their front gardens along the road and keep them as nice as possible I suppose. People always laugh when they walk past

A: People always say when they find out, “Oh I love your garden, it cheers me up on the way to work when I walk past it in the morning”. It won a prize once!

Alice and John, Northcote Road