One memorable scene in Nineties romcom Notting Hill sees Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts break into the private Rosmead Garden but for one weekend only, Londoners will have the chance to explore it without risking life and limb scaling the iron railings.
Open Garden Squares Weekend returns this Saturday and Sunday to offer people the chance to peek inside more than 230 gardens across 27 boroughs, from the historic and traditional to the modern and experimental.
Some of the gardens are for residential use only, some are not normally open on weekends and others are always open but off the beaten track. Gardens that are usually inaccessible are indicated with a key symbol in the guidebook (full list here).
Now in its 20th year, the popular event serves to highlight the social, cultural, environmental and economic contribution that gardens, squares and green spaces make to London and those that live here.
No other European city has developed the garden square in quite the same way that London has. Today they are a key part of the city's fabric, helping to keep community spirit alive, attracting tourists and offering havens to relax in after a busy day in the office.
Which gardens are opening?
There will be a record 237 gardens unlocking their gates this weekend, with the full list available here.
These include the garden of Number 10 Downing Street where the Prime Minister welcomes high profile guests (available to access through a public ballot only); The Deanery, the Dean of Southwark Cathedral's private residence next to the Globe Theatre; Trumpeters' House nestled between the Thames and Richmond Green with its 18th-century summer house and aviary for doves; the Royal College of Physicians' medicinal garden; Nomura International's huge rooftop garden and The Master's Garden within the Temple complex.
What events are taking place?
Highlights will include a pop-up gin garden serving gin and tonic ice-cream, a botanical art workshop, herbal tea making, exhibitions, plant sales, poetry, live music and talks on bee-keeping and urban farming.
What is there for children to do?
Children can take part in activities such as pond-dipping, seed-planting, storytelling, face-painting and nature hunts, as well as building an insect house and sowing a wild flower meadow.
Homes for sale with the keys to London's best garden squares
Homes for sale with the keys to London's best garden squares
1/22 Cleveland Square
This grand garden square close to Hyde Park in Bayswater is populated by Grade II-listed Victorian terraces and boasts 1.5 acres of gardens.
2/22 Cleveland Square
Mature plum and cherry trees are dotted among lawns, paths and flowerbeds, while the children's play areas are popular in summer.
3/22 Three-bedroom Cleveland Square flat
£2,250,000: this three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is found on the third floor of this Grade II-listed stucco building in Bayswater. Features include integrated speakers, marble kitchen surfaces and underfloor heating. Residents enjoy exclusive access to the square's private communal gardens.
4/22 One-bedroom Kensington Gardens flat
£600,000: this Bayswater apartment is finished to a contemporary standard with wooden floors and a fully-fitted kitchen. It is found on this popular garden square in a grand period building.
5/22 Garden Barge Square
Some 70 households live on this collection of houseboats near Tower Bridge. Together they tend to floating organic plots planted with fruit, flowers and vegetables.
6/22 Arlington Square
Community gardening is at its best in this Islington square. Residents have planted over 45,000 bulbs and 150 rosebushes in the past six years, while a previously neglected corner is now full of fruit.
Alamy Stock Photo
7/22 Arlington Square
The community vibe of Arlington Square attracts buyers, despite prices being about 10 per cent more expensive than in nearby streets.
8/22 Three-bedroom Arlington Square house
£2,200,000: this Grade II-listed family home has been recently refurbished by the current owners to mix contemporary and classic styles. It is arranged over four floors and comes with a large paved patio.
9/22 One-bedroom Myddelton Square apartment
£450,000: this first-floor Islington apartment overlooks the garden square from the living space. There are ample period features to enjoy, from cornicing to sash windows.
10/22 Barnsbury Square
This leafy square is found a mile up the road from Arlington Square and offers similar but larger elegant, part-stucco townhouses.
11/22 Three-bedroom Barnsbury Square apartment
£2,450,000: There are ten loft apartments in this new building on the west side of this popular garden square. This apartment is on the ground floor and has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling glazing and timber floors.
12/22 Two-bedroom Barnsbury Square apartment
£1,895,000: Mica House is factory conversion consisting of just eight apartments. This one on the first floor features a 24ft open-plan living space, two balconies overlooking the gardens and walnut floors throughout.
13/22 Wesley Square
Nestled in North Kensington, this square is a 'co-ownership community' of 50 homes around a garden, designed by Terry Farrell in the late Seventies. If you're after a garden square property on a budget, this could be the place for you.
14/22 Two-bedroom Wesley Square maisonette
£925,000: this beautifully presented maisonette close to Portobello Road has a modern finish throughout, an open-plan living space, a private patio garden and access to the gated and well-maintained Wesley Square garden.
15/22 Two-bedroom Lonsdale Square flat
£875,000: this two- double bedroom flat with two private patios is found in one of Barnsbury's premium garden squares just minutes from Upper Street. The Grade II-listed property has a spacious reception room and enjoys quiet surroundings.
16/22 Earls Court Square
This award-winning Victorian garden hosts many neighbourhood events, including a Christmas tree lighting party, an annual BBQ and musical evenings.
17/22 Barkston Gardens studio flat
£450,000: found on the first floor of a red brick Victorian building, this bright apartment has been recently refurbished to a high standard and benefits from access to one of Kensington's best garden squares.
18/22 Bonnington Square
Pretty Victorian workers' cottages line this Vauxhall square, known for its 'terrific' spirit. Its garden is modern, featuring sculptures, an arbour and architectural salvage, with beds planted out for community use.
19/22 Four-bedroom Sutherland Square house
£885,000: this four-bedroom house is arranged over three floors and found just off Camberwell Road. It has a large reception room and a lovely private garden.
20/22 Fassett Square
Fassett Square in Hackney is best known as the model for EastEnders' Albert Square. Residents restored the garden themselves, retaining its original design of winding paths, lawns and flowerbeds.
21/22 Fassett Square
Birthday parties, BBQs and even weddings are held in the garden, but househunters will pay a premium for the privilege of an invite, with a four-bedroom house costing £1.5m.
22/22 Gloucester Sq Residents' Garden
This east London gem in Haggerston, one of the most urban parts of London, was revamped by residents in 2009. They now grow most of the flowers themselves from seeds or cuttings.
How much do tickets cost?
Tickets cost £13 if booked before midnight on 15 June and £15 if bought online afterwards or in the gardens. Young people aged 12 to 18 pay £10, family tickets for two adults and up to three young people cost £40 and under-12s go free.
Tickets give access to all gardens (full list here) across the weekend, but you can buy a Sunday-only ticket for £10 from 4pm on Saturday.
You will be emailed an e-ticket to print out and bring with you. Guidebooks are included in the ticket price and available to collect from the City Information Centre in St Paul's Churchyard or a garden. It can also be read online here.
Can I bring my dog?
Gardens that allow dogs on lead are indicated with a dog symbol (full list here).
Can I cycle?
Cyclists can join three different group rides, visiting gardens in the City of London, Southbank and Westminster; Camden and Islington or Westminster, City of London, Bloomsbury and Marylebone.
When do the gardens open?
Check the opening times carefully as they differ between gardens and not every garden is open on both Saturday and Sunday.
Is there a date for next year yet?
The date for next year's event has already been set for 9-10 June.