Apologies as this was back in June (we have been very busy), but as a wise man once said, “Better late than never!”.
London’s open garden squares weekend was amazing!
I had the most enjoyable and interesting weekend rambling through London’s relatively quiet streets. There were approximately 250 open gardens to cast your curious eyes upon. From Greater London to the inner metropolis. I chose city and South Bank and even though I only managed 5, it gave me the most amazing opportunity to view the incredible borrowed landscape views that London has to offer.
First on my garden open space journey was the ‘Nomura International PLC’ rooftop gardens. These had wonderful riverbank and Shard vistas. There was a birds of prey company with an owl, eagle and hawk. They are employed all around the city as deterrents to pigeons & seagulls. There was also a very well maintained and advanced raised vegetable garden who’s produce avails the staff restaurant and is managed by the switchboard staff. There was a resident poet to top it all off.
Second was ‘Eversheds’ rooftop garden which was my favourite.
- I witnessed one of only five of the extremely rare Black Redstart pairs in London.
- The reddish tinged sedum garden mat. Interspersed with Vipers Bugloss, Oxeye Daisy’s & other self seeded wild flowers. These were covered in the resident bees from the two active hives.
- They had a small yet very productive and well planted vegetable and fruit garden with orange, lime, lemon, nectarine, grape vine & trees, hanging strawberry baskets, raspberry canes and varied vegetable varieties.
It made me extremely excited and happy that companies are making a huge effort to encourage and broaden this type of ecosystem within the city. If more invested in this lateral thinking of naturalistic skyline mentality it would massively improve the pollution decline and promote the wildlife expansion & diversity.
Third on my adventure was ‘Christchurch Greyfriars Rose Garden’ with resident poet. The roses were in full bloom and the bed planting was glorious against the brick walls surround with wonderful arched openings. Originally a Franciscan monastery which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666. A new church was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1687 and 1704 , which was again gutted by fire in 1940 during WW2. Only the west tower remains. There were heart warming poems to read dotted amongst the pollinating friendly plants. St. Paul’s was the backdrop.
Fourth was not on the tour but there is a shopping centre opposite St Paul’s with champagne bar views which are spectacular! The shard is also in great view and the bar atmosphere was brilliant.
Fifth and last on the tour was the ‘Postman’s Park’ who’s name derives from its popularity as a lunchtime garden with workers from the nearby Old Post Office. Originally formed of 3 churchyards it was laid as a public garden in 1880. The Watts memorial, a touching walk of tablets by the artist G.F Watts. Records of heroic deeds of ordinary men, women and children who lost their lives to save others. It was erected to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887. The hand lettered tiles are by Doulton, the ceramic makers.
I will definitely be visiting more of the Open Square Gardens next year. They are forever expanding and I look forward to choosing a new area to expand my London green space experience and knowledge.