Ranger’s House Rose Garden – in the part of Greenwich Park tourists don’t visit

Ranger's House Rose GardenGreenwich is a park of two halves. There’s the bit down the bottom, near the Cutty Sark with the National Maritime Museum and Queen’s House pulling in boatloads of tourists every day. Some of them walk up the steep hill to visit the Royal Observatory and take a photo of the amazing view from the top. But that’s generally as far as they get. The other Greenwich Park is beyond that – a park where locals go, full of hidden treasures. Continue reading

Hyde Park Rose Garden – surprisingly romantic

Hyde Park Rose GardenThis week is rose week on the blog, so following on from my rose garden top five post I’m sharing a few more pictures of my favourite rose gardens, starting with the one in Hyde Park. I always think of Hyde Park as quite formal, so I was surprised to find how soft and romantic the layout of this garden is. Continue reading

London Rose Gardens – Top Five Guide

RosesWelcome to my guide to where to see the best roses in bloom in London! After all, today’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, when the earth is at its maximum tilt towards the sun. What better way to spend it than looking at roses? Luckily the rose season is at it’s height right now. So let’s make a start. Continue reading

Colour and Patina – the Bronzes of Koji Hatakeyama

Koji HatakeyamaI’ve always though of bronze as, well, bronze-coloured. Not a colourful metal at all. But Koji Hatakeyama’s new exhibition at the Erskine Hall and Coe gallery has made me see bronze in a new light – or maybe a new set of colours.  Continue reading

A tour of Kew Gardens’ secret places

Kew Gardens rose pergolaI went down to Kew Gardens last week. Yes, again. When the sun shines I can’t think of a better place to be.  For once I didn’t head straight for the Japanese Landscape. I had other fish (or flowers) to fry – bits of the garden that don’t get visited so much, some of the odd places round the edges that get overlooked because the rest of the garden is so stunning.  Continue reading

Two for the price of one – Roses and Rhododendron at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens rosesThe beginning of June is when the roses start to come into bloom and the last of the spring flowers come to an end. But I was lucky enough to straddle the seasons at Kew Gardens last week, as the rose garden behind the Palm House came into bloom while the rhododendron dell was still full of flowers. Bit of a win-win. Continue reading

Roses, bees and tranquility in the heart of London: Lambeth Palace Garden

Lambeth Palace gardenIn the past it hasn’t been easy to visit the garden of Lambeth Palace, the oldest continuously cultivated garden in London (it’s been there for eight hundred years).  The only way was by booking one of the none-too-frequent guided tours. But from March this year things have changed. Now you can wander around at your leisure, as Yannick and I did last week. Continue reading

The Art of Trees: Masumi Yamanaka at Kew

Black Locust Flower, Leaf and Fruit by Masumi Yamanaka © Kew Gardens

Black Locust Flower, Leaf and Fruit by Masumi Yamanaka © Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens is a wonderful place to visit to see plants and flowers in bloom, but you may not realise it also has two art galleries. One of them, the Marianne North gallery, has a permanent display of pictures by the great Victorian explorer, but the other, the Shirley Sherwood gallery, has changing exhibitions of botanical art. Currently on show are a series of new paintings by Kew artist Masumi Yamanaka of some of the rare and spectacular heritage trees in the gardens. Continue reading

Yellow water iris – East and West London battle it out

Yellow water iris
The yellow water iris (Iris pseudacorus) is in flower at the moment. I’ve come across it in two very different places in the past week – the Barbican Centre in the east of London and the Italian Gardens in Kensington Gardens in the west. The two locations offer an interesting contrast in style – formal versus lush, modern versus traditional, concrete versus greenery. Which would you go for? Continue reading

Particle physics makes art in a car park: Ryoji Ikeda’s Supersymmetry

Ryoji Ikeda

Last year Japanese electronic composer and installation artist Ryoji Ikeda’s light show in Victoria Tower Gardens was briefly the must-see London art work, with long queues of people waiting for their chance to experience it. This year his new installation Supersymmetry is causing less of a stir. Could that be because of its location? Continue reading