Saturday 21st May, my first visit to Rainham Hall, where I'll be POET IN RESIDENCE for the next month, with open days on 18th and 19th June, as part of Open Garden Squares weekend . Rattly train from Fenchurch Street past Stratford, Barking, Dagenham Dock, timber yards, steel yards, tips, a plastic playground, a rainbow park bench. Then, a few steps from Rainham station and the marshland that leads down to the Thames, this Georgian sea captain's house, now managed by the National Trust, with the most unexpectedly lovely garden. I arrived just as Jesse (the community gardener) and a group of local kids had finished making a new insect mansion! Almost as impressive as Rainham Hall itself. What a welcoming place - and not just for earwigs! The garden's lovely - a great combination of careful planting, community involvement, and creative wilderness. I'll let the pictures do the talking... I came away with ideas buzzing in my head, and a lot of exisitng love and garden ideas to live up to. Might need to build another mansion to house them all.
I like what Franz Kafka said: