Elm Tree Cottage garden announces charity open days

On the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, you have a chance to step back into the 19th Century with a visit to the garden of a house in Croham that offers a feel for how the area around Croydon might have been 160 years ago.

Elm Tree CottageThe National Gardens Scheme operates open days in select private gardens throughout the spring and summer, raising money for a range of charities and good causes.

From what we can find in its listings, the only such garden opening its gates in Croydon is Elm Tree Cottage, on Croham Road, which will open to the public from 1pm to 4pm on Sunday May 4, as well as on June 15 and August 10. Entry is £3.

There are other gardens nearby, in Wallington, Warlingham and West Wickham, for instance, although we are disappointed to note that Sir Tricky Dicky Ottaway’s country pile in Bletchingley is not listed, even though so much of the gardening there was heavily subsidised by the tax-payer…

We digress. In Croham, the flint cottage, built around 1855, has a Mediterranean-style garden. “Meander up the sloping brick path to the sound of running water, lemon trees, olives, palms and other drought-tolerant plants,” the owners, Wendy Witherick and Michael Wilkinson, suggest.

“Look inside the glasshouse and you will find wonderful agaves, cacti and other succulents. Take a seat and rest awhile before you carry on your journey, wandering past lavender and rosemary and much much more. Another seat awaits you at the top where you look back down the garden for a different perspective.”

Because of the garden’s steep paths, it is unsuitable for those unsteady on their feet. No dogs or children are allowed.

More details for visitors can be found here.

Elm Tree Cottage is at 85 Croham Road, CR2 7HJ, or you can email the owners at elmtreecottage@sky.com

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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