Tag Archives: London Gardens

  • Walking Round London - gardens

    I had to go to London for work and it is always nice to fit in a garden or too. There was not time to get to the major gardens and January isn't exactly garden visiting time in much of England. However walking between A and Z, I took in a few incidental garden spaces. Not places you would go out of your way to see, but if you work in London, or are a weary tourist, it's nice to know the green spots.

    St. Paul's - when you've done gazing at the amazing mosaics and magnificence of the building, take a little walk around the garden. Even at this time of year, there are Liquidambar leaves clinging for dear life whilst an ornamental cherry bursts into bloom. The red and yellow dogwoods are still speaking of fire and brimstone. Berries too were a reminder that winter is here. I loved the fountain with its lion's heads. The wet London plane tree trunk was outside Westminster Abbey.

    I had caught sight of the Gherkin and in pursuit for a photo, I passed Cleary Gardens, a spot to rest aching feet and legs, with a view of the Shard in the distance. I am not fond of filling wheelbarrows and such with plants, but if you must, I thought this pair looked attractive filled as they were with pretty standard garden plants - heuchera, cyclamen and euonymus.

    Reaching the modern architecture towering above old churches and buildings was a bit like stepping into a Hollywood vision of the future. I love both types of architecture. I liked the trees against the glass and yellow columns. The landscape designer in me wanted to plant striking yellow dogwood, yellow bamboo and the most fabulous yellow leaved tree of them all - Acer 'Princeton Gold' or the to die for Acer palmatum 'Shishigashira'. I liked viewing the trees through the modern architecture.

    I walked on in pursuit of a better view of the Shard, and passed the Sky Garden. Free tickets have to be booked online, I would have done that if I had known. I was content to see the garden wall at ground floor level. I don't know if it was planted by Patrick Blanc, but he is the man who started doing vertical gardens first.

    Perhaps the loveliest of all plants on this incidental plants walk was created in a concrete bench facing the Shard on the Thames path! Plants that never die. What a gorgeous place to sit and contemplate the Thames.

    Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2017

  • London Out Of Sight

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    London Out Of Sight, paperback published by Black Dog Publishing. ISBN 78-1907317965, price 9.5 available from www.blackdogonline.com

    Explore green spaces in London and find calm amid one of the busiest capital's in the world. Find lesser known spaces where you can chill from the busy office or shopping spree. The book is split into Central, North, East, West and South London with around a dozen spaces in each category. Each section starts with a map, showing the spaces and nearest tube stations. Descriptions include access information, entry fees if applicable, historical facts and notes on plants. The varied spaces include church grounds, conservatories, walled gardens, parks, city farms and community gardens. It is beautifully illustrated throughout.  If like me, you often have an hour or two on your hands waiting for a train, or interview, with a copy of this book you could be contemplating life in quieter surroundings. Repose, relax or discover and learn. Encounter ancient trees, plants, biodiversity, wildlife, gravestones and sculpture. Who would not want to find time to treasure the open heaths, ancient woodlands, shared gardens and green spaces of London? As an avid gardener, I was surprised to find that I have only visited four of the spaces in the book. That's something I must amend. Highly recommended. Excellent for those who work in London and those who visit.

  • Gardens to Visit - Horniman Museum

    London gardens are such a treasure, that slightly warmer climate means borderline plants can survive winter. The gardens surrounding the Horniman Museum have a slightly exotic flair. The exotic or tropical look is one of the sections covered in my book Lifestyle Gardening available here.

    I was slightly disappointed that the Conservatory no longer houses plants, it's a beautiful building. Loved the garden by the entrance with the green roof and great planting. As I left the sun was setting on what had been a cold and frosty day.

    Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2015

  • Lloyd Park, London

    Great for a morning stroll, Lloyd Park is easily accessible on the Tube. If you've come here for the William Morris Gallery, take time to walk around the gardens. On a cold and frosty morning, the frost pocket is clearly the flat parterre terrace behind the gallery. The stream was glistening in the sun and the grasses looked dazzling against the clear blue sky. I loved the weeping silver birch in the front garden. Plenty to still look at in December and time to plan your own garden.

    My books can help you plan a colourful and well-designed garden, so check them out here www.karenplatt.co.uk

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    Words and images copyright Karen Platt 2014

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