Cafe A Vin


I’m not keen on modern shopping precincts that are made up of chain shops and restaurants, but I can handle the new area at Spitalfields because it has some nice landscaping, and some quite nice restaurants too.

I liked this combo outside the Cafe A Vin. It contains two of my ‘banned’ bedding plants, but I’m prepared to let that go because the white-edged leaves of the euonymus and the petals of the cyclamen complement each other so nicely.

When I walked past again a few days later, the cyclamen had all been taken out! Cyclamen don’t like being cold and wet, so maybe the snow finished them off…

Regent’s Park

Regent's Park

Since I swapped an overpriced and overcrowded commute for a walk through Regent’s Park every morning, my life has improved no end. Not only do I finally ‘get’ dogs – all enjoying the best part of their day and getting up to all sorts behind their owners’ backs – but I can see the seasons gradually evolve. At this time of year everything is happening so fast that I keep spotting things I’ve never noticed before.

Like this border – how could I have missed it until now? It’s a mix of dark-leaved phormiums, pink wallflowers, dark red tulips and wine-coloured heucheras – a contemporary take on the traditional tulip/wallflower combo.

I’m not a huge fan of bedding, but there are lots of combinations in the park at the moment that are really original. I get the impression that the planting is becoming more sustainable – mixing shrubs such as phormiums and tiny, acid green euonymus into the schemes. I’d love to meet the person responsible for coming up with the ideas.