Monthly Archives: July 2014

Lead You Through The Streets Of London


Our weekend was spent in London, as Mum and Dad were called in to rescue “Sonny Gym” (he’s a personal trainer!) from a spartan existence in his new flat. He moved in a week ago with nothing but a sleeping bag and overnight case, so some creature comforts were called for, not to mention clean clothes!

The gym where he recently started work, is situated in the
City, and he has managed to find a flat within walking distance. He tells us it’s classified as being in Zone 1. So very central!

We quickly did the necessary unpacking, and “SG” was keen to show his willing parents around the area. The remainder of Saturday and Sunday morning was spent exploring his new surroundings. He had discovered so much already.

Now you could be forgiven for thinking that a couple of miles from the “Gherkin”, would be a horticultural desert, and indeed it is full of busy streets and the necessary conglomeration of shops, bars and restaurants that is found everywhere in the middle of London. (Does anyone actually know, just how many Starbucks there are in the middle of London?!!). Tenement blocks, both old and modern, which jostle side by side, don’t appear to be amenable to beautiful planting schemes. However, I soon began to find many glimmers of horticultural hope. So let me lead you on a hunt for horticulture through the streets of London!


I couldn’t believe the size of the flower heads on this Hydrangea! And it was just growing wild, on the bank of the canal.


Further along the canal, looking up at the apartment blocks lining it, I noticed where some lucky residents managed to create gardens for themselves. Widespread throughout the city, no doubt, as long you look up…..


….or look down! One street of old Regency style homes, revealed interesting basement planting – though here, it looks like gardening behind bars!

And then there was the totally unexpected!



Then we came upon one of London’s gems – one of its famous private, communal gardens. Where would London be without them? A green space, providing a place for its residents to relax and soak up the great outdoors, while providing a haven for plants and wildlife in the urban jungle.

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This little gem, was a lovely relaxed area, full of grasses and prairie-style planting. I recognised persicaria before I was hurriedly rushed on! It was nice to see that it had had an open event, to encourage people to come along and get involved.

And talking about encouraging people, we also came across this student accommodation.


It may not be obvious from this poor photo, but it seemed as if climbers were being trained up wires through a recessed column. So imaginative!

And also in the housing estates, there was so much promise.


Lovely to see that in the communal areas of modern blocks of flats, attempts are being made to “grow your own” and encourage community spirit.

And finally, when refreshment was needed, who could resist this!


We were hungry, and we couldn’t imagine a better place to stop and eat!


And lovely, it was! A wonderful pub and outdoor garden, with an eclectic mix of reclaimed finds. So inspirational for your own garden!

Oh! And fantastic food as well!

But I will leave you with a health message. Sorry!