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.

Sep 062011
 

South Bank

When I stepped into Judith’s living room, I had the weirdest feeling: it was exactly as I’d imagined it moments before. It reminded me of my old flat, especially as it has patio doors that look onto a balcony.

My flat was on the Willesden High Road, possibly the only road in London that has got more grotty and not the least bit gentrified in the last ten years. Meanwhile Judith lives in the lovely Oxo Tower on the South Bank. But her balcony and my old one are pretty similar – south facing, rather windswept, in a very urban setting and packed to the gunnells with plants. Judith has done what I never quite managed with mine – she’s added height using steps and little tables. She’s also got some jaunty bunting.

My balcony got me interested in gardening and it also kept me sane. Spending time on it was noisy but therapeutic and I loved gazing at a sea of green from my sofa. It sure beat the view directly below, although my young nephew loved it – he once asked to come and visit me so that he could ‘watch the police cars’.