Although there are several famous squares in the more affluent parts of London, it is unusual in Fulham to find as large and beautifully kept communal garden as that of Drive Mansions. This garden which measures around half an acre in size is exceptional, not just for it’s size, but also for the range of trees, plants and shrubs and the quality of the lawn.
Like much of London, the garden has changed over time.
When Drive Mansions was built in the reign of Queen Victoria, there weretennis courts at the back, and the entire site would have formed over an acre in size. Over the years, as land became more valuable and housing more in demand some of the land was sold off.
During the nineteen seventies and eighties, the garden became used as a rubbish dump. There were few plants, mainly weeds weeds, lots of borage and rubble; old baths, broken furniture, abandoned supermarket trolleys and an unexploded World War 2 bomb.
In 1990, Clive and Tracey Henderson, a brother and sister from Bristol moved in to number 92 The Drive Mansions. With the help of their mother Ann, a dedicated gardener with a great knowledge of plants, the garden was re-designed and restored to the level it is today.
The garden continues to be an ongoing project. The current caretaker, Paul Carpenter, who has made an immense impact on the Drive Mansions in general, has also taken a great interest in maintaining the garden.
Many of the residents enjoy the garden, watching the trees change colour throughout the year, and in the summer can often be seen sitting outside picnicking with their children or relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book. The garden has indeed become a popular photograph on the local Estate agent’s brochures, which insures that flats in The Drive Mansions are never empty for long!
Clive Henderson in Flat 22 is the Garden Representative on the Drive Mansions Committee. He continues to oversee improvements to the garden and can be contacted by Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. UA-74689278-1