Sep 152012
 

Oxo Tower, London

Giant planters are mysteriously popping up all over the Waterloo area. There have been sightings outside a church opposite the station, at the top of a dreary walkway to the Imax (below), and in the last few days, round the back of the OXO Tower (above).

There’s always more than one – they’re usually in groups of about five. And what I like about them is that each one has a different colour theme – purple (petunias and salvias), red (geraniums, begonias and coleus), pink (petunias and geraniums again) and so on. They pack quite a punch.

The planters below also handily prevent drivers turning into the Imax entrance. I’ve nearly been run over several times by reversing cars and lorries, and now I can walk home without the fear of being squashed.

Apr 042012
 

La Gomera

La Gomera is a lovely island, but aspects of it played with my head. For starters it has a dramatic volcanic landscape with a green and ancient rainforest on the top. And in the towns, the planting is a total mash-up thanks to the year-long climate of around 22 degrees.

I’m sure it all looks perfectly normal to Gomeran person but to a Brit some of the planting combinations in the gardens are quite startling – geraniums next to amaryllis, snapdragons alongside orchids and daturas rubbing shoulders with orange blossom.

It’s all very colourful, though. I wonder if La Gomera has the equivalent of Britain in Bloom?

Jul 112011
 

Fitzrovia

I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘girl crush’ before but I might be in danger of developing one. My friend Vicky and I stumbled across Emma’s hairdressing emporium (which doesn’t yet have a name) on Cleveland Street a couple of months back. We instantly loved the way she’d kitted it out (shabby chic might be the best way to describe it) and swooned over the battered green leather sofa in the window and old issues of Vogue. We also fell in love with her black labrador, who she takes for walks in Regents Park, temporarily shutting up shop.

When we went there the other evening to make an appointment for Vicky, we were instantly struck by Emma’s new flamboyant display of pots. It turns out that sheused to live across the road and had a similar display there on the steps of her flat – I’d wondered why it had disappeared. Nasturtiums, geraniums, hydrangeas and hollyhocks spill on to the pavement and create quite a show. From inside the salon, it looks like a real garden.

Vicky and I both agreed that Emma is very cool indeed. Next time we go in we’ll probably discover that she gives all her earnings to charity and is about to discover a cure for cancer.

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.