Open Garden Squares Weekend: take a look around Charlton Manor school’s Secret Garden

News in from Charlton Manor school:

Tickets are now on sale for Charlton Manor primary school’s Secret Garden Open Day, part of Open Garden Squares Weekend.

Charlton Manor’s award-winning Secret Garden opens to the public on Saturday 9 June from 10am to 5pm with a farmer’s market, refreshments, school-made produce from the garden, pond-dipping, exploration of the school’s observation beehive and a tour of the garden with staff available to answer questions.

The Secret Garden at Charlton Manor is packed with learning opportunities and as well as having a chicken run and beehives, it also has a stag beetle environment, a composting area, flower beds, vegetables, fruit trees, vines, greenhouse, wildlife area and bird hide.

In 2012 Charlton Manor led schools from Greenwich on a learning journey into plant care, resulting in growing beautiful cut flowers, being awarded a silver-gilt medal at the Chelsea Flower Show and meeting Her Majesty the Queen. Every year since the school has been involved at Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows and Bexley in Bloom.

Now’s your chance to discover Charlton Manor’s Secret Garden. A number of years ago it was derelict. Today it’s a haven.

Entry to Charlton Manor’s Secret Garden Open Day and Farmers Market is just £4, there’s no need to book – just turn up on the day. Weekend tickets (to cover all gardens) £15 in advance / £20 over the weekend. Under 12s go free.

Open Garden Squares Weekend Tickets can also be booked online, visit

To find out more about Charlton Manor Primary Schools Secret Garden, visit


PS. If you’re in the Charlton area and are opening your garden for Open Garden Squares weekend, let us know.

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Visit Charlton Manor Primary School on Open Garden Squares Weekend

The annual Open Garden Squares Weekend takes place 8-9 June, and Charlton Manor Primary School are opening their doors to the public to show off their Secret Garden.

Charlton Manor Primary School pupils work with the gardener
Charlton Manor Primary School pupils work with the gardener

Headmaster Tim Baker writes:

Visitors will get a tour of the garden and a talk about how the garden is used to support the curriculum. For those that wish we will also give a tour of the children’s kitchen.There will be tea and cakes available on the day. The cakes are made from produce in the garden, ie eggs, honey, carrots etc.

The Secret Garden at Charlton Manor is hidden behind the dinner centre. It provides the children with a quiet area to go at break times and at other times during the day when they may have difficulties concentrating in class. It is packed with learning opportunities and as well as having allotments, a greenhouse and raised beds it also has 4 bee hives, a chicken run home to 10 chickens of different breeds, a stag beetle environment, a composting area containing 4 different composting methods including a wormery, a hide for bird watching, a bird box with cameras linked to the internet, a wildlife area together with pond and an area for conducting investigations using computers such as pond dipping. The children use it through most of the curriculum. Much of the produce is used in the school’s newly built teaching kitchen, enabling them to understand how this all fits with healthy eating.

Champion readers may have seen the school featured on BBC News recently, as they contributed to a garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Pupils have been attending the show and manning a stand to tell the public about the plants they grew, and have been visited by a number or members of the royal family and celebrities visiting the garden.

This correspondent went along to the school’s Open Garden event last year and enjoyed the experience very much (the cake was particularly good). Why not call by to see what’s going on in this green-fingered corner of SE7?

The address:

Charlton Manor Primary School
Indus Road