Amazing Orchids at Kew

IMG_2284Every year, in February, Kew Gardens puts on its famous orchids display in the Princess of Wales Conservatory. It’s wonderful to visit and spend some time in the damp warmth of a tropical rain forest while outside the glass it’s bone-freezingly cold, and let the vivid colours and fantastic shapes of the orchids take you to a different world. Continue reading

Keep warm in the Barbican’s secret conservatory

Bird of Paradise Flower, Barbican ConservatoryThe weather has finally turned against us with temperatures in single figures. Suddenly staying in begins to seem like a good idea. But not staying home – what you need is somewhere in central London that’s warm where you can wander round looking at the flowers just as though it was still summer. You need the Barbican conservatory. Continue reading

Hatfield House – gardens fit for a Queen

Hatfield House garden

The tube strike and a sunny day sent me off to Hatfield House Gardens last week. The entrance to the house and grounds is right opposite Hatfield rail station, so it’s perfect for people like me who don’t travel by car. The House is well worth a visit too, but I was there to see the beauties of the formal gardens. Continue reading

A visit to the stunning Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Hampton Court Palace GardenWhen I’ve been to Hampton Court before I’ve spent my whole time looking at the palace, with just a perfunctory glance at the gardens. I’ve always known I was missing out, so I was determined to go on a visit just to the gardens, to give myself time to see them all (and there are plenty to see) and really appreciate them. I was very glad I did, as they are quite stunning. 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

White wisteria in a secret garden – St John’s Lodge, Regent’s Park

St John's Lodge GardenThere are a lot of Did you knows? in this post. Did you know that wisteria comes in white as well as purple? And grows as trees as well as climbing? Did you know there’s a hidden garden right in the middle of Regent’s Park where you can see white wisteria trees in flower now? If the answer is no, then read on. Continue reading

Iris and wisteria at Fulham Palace

Fulham PalaceI’d never really thought about going to Fulham Palace before, even though when I went to the Isabella Plantation last week I went via Putney Bridge and could easily have made a detour as it’s just a few minutes walk away. But then I mentioned to some friends that I was on the lookout for wisteria and Sue of It’s your London told me about the gardens there.  Continue reading

Azaleas in the Isabella Plantation

Isabella PlantationYesterday Yannick, Travelling Dave and I set off on an expedition to the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park. If you’re a west Londoner you’ll be wondering why I describe it as an expedition when you go there all the time, but for a north Londoner like me it’s a trek into unknown country. What attracted us was the reputation of the azaleas in the Isabella Plantation and we weren’t disappointed. Continue reading

Bluebells and Wisteria at Osterley Park

Osterley Park wisteriaI’ve been through Osterley on the tube dozens of times on my way to Heathrow and I always think to myself that one day I’ll get off and visit Osterley Park. The years have rolled by and the trips to Heathrow gone on, but the visit to Osterley Park has eluded me – until now.  What a lot I’ve been missing. Continue reading

Just for a change: magnolias at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens magnoliaWhen I was at Kew Gardens last week I took at look at the little blackboard by the entrance on which they write what’s worth seeing that day. It said magnolias, and I have to admit it was right. I’ve never thought of going to Kew for the magnolias before, but they are spectacular, so I thought I’d share some pictures with you. Continue reading