May 092013
 
Regents Park

Regents Park

I came across this raised bed a while ago when I was lost in Regents Park. It was summer then, and it was stuffed with marigolds, heleniums and fennel. I found it for the second time last week when I was lost all over again, experimenting with a new route to work. It was a pretty silly idea as I have no sense of direction, and even the helpful ‘YOU ARE HERE’ signs are lost on me.

None of the tulips directly pick out the colour of the door, although the yellow and red ones come pretty close. Which begs the question: if you have a strongly coloured feature, should you match your plants to it, or just grow what you fancy?

 

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May 122012
 

Regents Park

I walk through Regents Park several times a week but I never get bored of it – the planting schemes change quickly and it’s big enough for there to always be something new to discover. I’d never seen this area before – it’s up near the theatre. It looked stunning in some rare late evening sun last week.

Yes, sun! Remember that?

Jan 092012
 

Regents Park

After some pretty wild weather last week, Friday dawned bright and calm and felt positively spring-like. I saw some marigolds on my way to work, followed by a camellia in flower, and then a daffodil. Summer followed by spring in the space of a few footsteps.

At lunchtime I went to Regent’s Park to see what was happening there. Half the beds in the Rose Garden had been cut right back, but the rest of them were flowering their socks off. This article in the Telegraph implies that roses have come into bloom early this year as they’re confused by the weather, but I’d assumed they just hadn’t stopped since last summer.

It’s quite an odd sensation to sniff a rose in January, but you’ve got to get your kicks where you can at this time of year. This was the very aptly named ‘Keep Smiling’.

Oct 012011
 

Regents Park

Yesterday evening I walked through Regents Park. It was busier than I’ve seen it all year, full of people enjoying the summer we never had. They were quaffing wine, having picnics, playing football and eating ice cream, seemingly oblivious to the fact that in less than an hour it would be completely dark.

I find this time of year a bit difficult. I love summer, and wouldn’t mind autumn either were it not for the fact that it’s followed by winter. We often get some late lovely weather, as we are this year, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the show’s almost over. And yet lots of plants, like the people in the park, seem oblivious to the fact that soon they’ll be nipped by a nasty frost or plunged into darkness, and are still innocently flowering their socks off.

But enough of this doom and gloom. This weekend, I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s October. Apparently there are ripe raspberries and strawberries at my allotment and the forecast is 28 degrees. So I’m going to don my sunnies and flip flops, pretend it’s July and forget all about the predictions of snow at the end of the month.


Jul 292011
 

Regent's Park

My lack of a sense of direction is legendary but I excelled myself the other day – I walked all the way around the Inner Circle of Regent’s Park, trying to find a route out, and ended up exactly where I started. And then I had to retrace my steps halfway round all over again, by which point it was almost dark.

So I happened to walk past this garden not once but twice. It’s in front of a building called The Studio. I just googled it and it seems to be home to a company that does ‘event architecture’, whatever that is. I think the planting must have been done to complement the orange door and the orange Smart car on the drive. I rather liked the mix of the dark foliage, orange marigolds and heleniums and towering fennels.

I took a pic, finally got out of the park just as dusk fell and then got lost again, this time around the back of Lords Cricket Ground. Hopeless.

Apr 162011
 

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.

Mar 242011
 

Regents Park

The skies have been blue all week in London, not that you’d know it from this blog – so this pic should redress the balance. On the way to Regent’s Park this lunchtime, I walked past the Royal College of Physicians. Its themed raised beds always look good but this one looked especially lovely today, bursting with spring flowers. All the plants have discreet labels bearing their Latin names and you don’t even have to bend to read them, as the beds are at waist height.