Dec 182013


I am terribly behind with this blog, which explains why this pic looks quite autumnal. But when I checked last week, these heucheras were still going strong outside an office block in Hammersmith.

I’ve never been that keen on heucheras. No particular reason – they just don’t do it for me. But these look good en masse, and are shown off quite nicely by the gravel. Plus, they positively glow in the low winter sunshine.  So I’ve decided I like them.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Jul 292011

Regent's Park

My lack of a sense of direction is legendary but I excelled myself the other day – I walked all the way around the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park, trying to find a route out, and ended up exactly where I started. And then I had to retrace my steps halfway round all over again, by which point it was almost dark.

So I happened to walk past this garden not once but twice. It’s in front of a building called The Studio. I just googled it and it seems to be home to a company that does ‘event architecture’, whatever that is. I think the planting must have been done to complement the orange door and the orange Smart car on the drive. I rather liked the mix of the dark foliage, orange marigolds and heleniums and towering fennels.

I took a pic, finally got out of the park just as dusk fell and then got lost again, this time around the back of Lords Cricket Ground. Hopeless.

Jul 032011

Old Street

I had to go on a training course last week, entitled ‘Communication Skills for Managers’. I was not relishing the idea. 1) I’m not a manager 2) I don’t like business speak 3) It was in the East End and I always get lost there and 4) It started at 9am, which meant getting up a whole hour earlier than usual.

But it was great. We had to do role plays with actors, and they were brilliant. And it’s always interesting to be the East End, which is probably the most interesting and original part of London these days. I tried taking pics of quite a few places, including a salvage yard and an eerie churchyard which will soon be home to the salvage yard, but they didn’t quite work.

So here’s a picture of the planting outside a building called Telephone House. It’s not really my cup of tea and would probably look better on the driveway of a chateau in the south of France, but it cheered up this corner of London on a drizzly afternoon.

Mar 242011

Regents Park

The skies have been blue all week in London, not that you’d know it from this blog – so this pic should redress the balance. On the way to Regent’s Park this lunchtime, I walked past the Royal College of Physicians. Its themed raised beds always look good but this one looked especially lovely today, bursting with spring flowers. All the plants have discreet labels bearing their Latin names and you don’t even have to bend to read them, as the beds are at waist height.

Mar 012011


I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t like daffodils. I know I should be pleased to see them after a long hard winter, and of course I am. But that doesn’t mean I like them. Maybe because they bring back memories of soggy half terms and Easters. Or because everyone always says they’re a sign of spring even though it’s obviously still winter outside. Or because they’re yellow. Or always described as ‘cheery’. And always mentioned in the same sentence as William Wordsworth.

But having said that, I do like dwarf ones, and the ones with orangey centres, and white ones, and any in a vase. So what can I say? It’s complicated. And yes, I’m fickle.

But anyway, it’s St David’s Day, and even I can appreciate these little numbers. They’re in the garden in front of the office where I work, and are a lovely (and I dare I say it) cheery start to the day. They’re mostly ‘February Gold’ with some ‘Tete a Tete’ and ‘Pippit’ mixed in. The garden was designed by Ruth Chivers a few years back, to a very specific brief (the building is part of the Crown Estate) and it’s by far the best looking thing on the Marylebone Road.

As luck would have it, Ruth was in the garden today, pimping it for spring. She was planting lots of red tulips that she’d pre-grown in aquatic plant baskets. She was sinking the bulbs, baskets and all, into the soil. As she doesn’t get to the garden very often, she’s hoping it’s a practical way to make sure the bulbs come up exactly where she wants them in a few weeks’ time.

Feb 082011

Portland Place W1

Broadcasting House on Portland Place has been under wraps for months, and now it’s £1bn extension is complete. It’s all very snazzy but I must admit I noticed the new Portland Stone planters outside first.

Now I’ve always thought that planters in a street are a lovely idea, but surely they must double up as 1) litter bins or 2) urinals? These lovely examples are quite tall, thus hopefully averting the latter problem. But there was already an abandoned coffee cup among the fatsia and box and a big dark brown stain (coffee from the aforementioned cup, I hope!) on the white stone.

These planters aren’t here just to jolly up the place, though. Apparently they’re part of a security ‘ring of steel’ to ward off a terrorist attack and contain reinforced concrete. So plants are now part of the war on terror…

Jan 182011

Euston Road, London NW1

There are often mysterious goings-on at the deconsecrated church next door to my office. Sometimes lasers light up the building for no apparent reason, and then a red carpet and some bouncers appear. At other times it seems to turn into some sort of gallery, and it’s never clear whether it’s open to the public or not.

But there was no mistaking Malcolm Maclaren’s funeral there a few months back. Black-plumed horses pulled a sparkling carriage bearing the coffin and black-clad mourners (including Vivienne Westwood and Tracy Emin) spilled onto the street. A green double decker bus blared out punk as the cortege set off for Highgate Cemetery. It was a gloriously sunny day and the ultimate send-off.

Today was another gloriously sunny day – the first, seemingly, for weeks. This time the event at the church was more prosaic – a B&Q press do. The steps of the church were adorned with topiary box and bay and the guys setting up the display were enjoying their lunch in the sun. The Euston Road is one of the busiest and greyest roads in London, but this oasis of green made it seem a little less manic.