(Photo: Gavin Gardiner)
These gardens are part of the Norland Estate, developed from around 1840 by Robert Cantwell, who laid out Royal Crescent in 1846. The Ordnance Survey map of 1860 shows a path following the periphery and trees and paths within the space. The gardens contain two magnificent plane trees at least as old as the Crescent buildings. They serve some 150 households in 44 houses.
The perimeter railings, sacrificed for the war effort in WW2, were restored in 1997 and repainted in 2014/15. The garden committee has worked since 2003 with a garden designer on full restoration, to upgrade the design, enhance the planting and improve the use of space and visual amenity for all residents all year round.
Considerable progress has been achieved, notably the installation of a gazebo specially made for the garden as a new central feature in 2007 surrounded by a rose and lavender bed, and replanting of the perimeter beds. Old and dying trees and shrubs have been replaced with new specimens, such as Prunus mackii
, snakebark maple, Gleditzia
, Davidia involucrata
The garden won the Kensington Society award for garden design in 2007 and first prize for communal gardens in North Kensington under the Brighter Kensington and Chelsea Scheme in 2008. It came second in the communal gardens class from 2009 to 2013 and again in 2016 and third in 2014. The garden has also won awards from the London Gardens Society in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.