More work needed on Hackney’s Breaker’s Yard

Just opened a month ago, the National Trust’s Breaker’s Yard garden still needs a bit of work to give it polish. Tyre planters remain unplanted and more than a few corners look untidy.

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And untidy

Although the theme is interesting and novel, the details need attention. For example, the public gates to the street remain closed and only those brave enough to walk through Sutton House (without paying an entrance fee) can gain free access.

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Gates to the street remain locked

None of the plant containers, which include not only tyres but trolleys and metal troughs, is a show stopper.

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Plantings not spectacular

The main space is dominated by two vehicles – the caravan-like The Grange and a 1980s ice-cream van. These are perhaps a little old and tarnished. Is the Breaker’s Yard just a resting place for two old artworks on their way to dereliction?


The Grange and a 1980s ice-cream van

One point that needs attention are the custom-built gates, which allow toy cars of the matchbox size, to be bolted in for ornament. But there is just too few of them to be interesting  And visitors might also like to be made aware that Sutton House is less than a mile away from where the factory that made Matchbox toys once stood.

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Just too few Matchbox cars

Another thing is the irrigation system, which includes water tanks and an unfinished channel which runs the length of the garden. It finally empties its flow into the Tudor house’s well. Exactly what this achieves – perhaps rainwater recycling or aquifer recharge – remains a mystery.

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Empties into the Tudor well

There are some interesting things to be seen at the garden, but a few of them are in Sutton House’s long standing front garden and over the fence in a neighbouring garden, which includes vegetable plots, beehives and espaliered fruit trees. The Breaker’s Yard is as yet only a minor addition to Hackney’s growing gardening tradition.

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