Nov 132011

The City

In case you were thinking I took this pic a couple of months ago and am sneaking it in now, I can assure you that it was taken on the grey and chilly day that was 11 November. I nearly did a double take when I saw it, because a) it’s such an incongruous sight amid office blocks and roaring traffic and b) it seems like autumn never happened. Hardy geraniums, gauras, day lilies and clematis were still flowering their socks off.

It’s called the Christchurch Greyfriars Garden and covers a burial ground on the the site of a church designed by Christopher Wren. Its design matches the layout of the nave: the box-edged beds reflect the original positions of the pews and the clematis- and rose-covered obelisks represent the pillars. It looks romantic, wild and a bit abandoned, and not at all the kind of public space that you generally see in London.

I walked past quite early in the morning, and a girl in last night’s party clothes, looking rather worse for wear, was tidying herself up on a bench – combing her hair, putting on makeup etc.

A few minutes later, I saw her sitting in the reception of the building I was  also waiting in. She looked perfectly demure and was discreetly sipping a can of Red Bull.

Jun 032011

London W1

I nearly took a pic of the first sweet pea of the year today (a lone flower in a pot on Harley St) but then I stumbled across this huge garden. It’s packed with roses, geraniums and clematis in Versailles planters. It took me back as it’s not what you’d expect to find just behind Oxford St – it’s huge, fancy and French in style.

It took me a while to figure out what building it belongs to, but then I realised it’s the back of the Langham Hotel. Strangely there was no one in it on a lovely spring day – maybe because hoi polloi like me can peer in from the street.