I love this front garden. It has a simple box parterre and a magnolia tree, which has such as beautiful form that it looks lovely even when not in flower. Perfect.
While we’re on the subject of the Inner Temple Garden, here’s one of my favourite parts of it – the Peony Garden. It is home to peonies, obviously, but what I really like about it is its green-ness. There is colour, but it’s quite muted. The magnolia kicks off the show, then the wisteria takes over, followed by peonies, foxgloves, hardy geraniums and clematis.
During the Chelsea Fringe/Open Squares weekend, other Temple gardens were open too. If you get the chance to go, do – it’s fascinating to walk around a part of London that is rarely open to the public. There’s even a tiny shop that sells shirts and pommade. But it’s not all traditional, either – I liked this slightly unruly planting in a raised bed next to a very grand house.
I went on a day trip to Bath this weekend. The weather was bloody awful – torrential rain and strong winds. It wasn’t the weather for spotting inspirational planting ideas, more for taking refuge in tea shops. But this magnolia, trained against a wall of a basement flat in the Royal Crescent, stood out, even through a steamed-up car window.
Now that I’m back in London, there are magnolias everywhere. It seems that all they needed was one warm day, and whoosh! They’re off. At last.
I went to a Chelsea Fringe meeting at City Hall the other night.
It’s a pretty nice walk from London Bridge – walk through Hay’s Galleria and you’re presented with a view of the skyline opposite before Tower Bridge looms into view.
That part of the river has lots of swanky new high-rise buildings and it’s not the kind of area where you’d expect to see much in the way of greenery, so I was surprised to see this garden.
It’s all very snazzy and modern, with heucheras, sarcococca (winter box) and ferns laid out in rows beneath silver birches and magnolias. It’s divided by lots of box hedging, which I like best at this time of year when it’s new growth makes it look bright green and fluffy around the edges. There are plenty of places to sit – the perfect urban oasis.
As I took some pics, I was surprised to see a squirrel darting around one of the granite seats. As I got closer I saw the reason why – someone had left some peanuts in their shells there. I can only assume they were a squirrel fan.