Travel blog. Gardeners’ Paradise
If you are like me, it takes a lot to drag you away from your garden. To prize me away there are two significant criteria; to visit other gardens and not be away too long! I wrote last July about our first visit to London Open Squares gardens. This year we are going again. Our cheap Waterloo Travel Lodge is already booked, my OAP train pass is about to be renewed and R.Broom’s bus pass - my writing is somewhat illegible - is at the ready. I hope you never see my bus pass, I look like a criminal!
We have been to Amsterdam Open Gardens three times in the last eight years. Each time with different friends and not always gardeners. The beautiful classical Old Amsterdam buildings you pass through to enter the gardens and the associated Dutch culture are a delight in themselves and the thirty-odd gardens are a horticultural feast. An Open ticket for all of the Dutch gardens is only 15 euro. The ticket gives directions, cheerful volunteers mark your tickets as your record of achievement and most important all gardens are in a navigable area. You walk from garden to garden. We sometimes take a canal boat to a distant garden and wend our way back via gardens to our hotel in the evening.
Our own personal Dutch formula Is to sleep overnight on Hull Ferries, enjoying the good food and wine. We are bused from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, take a taxi to the Eden Hotel where we stay two nights. That’s four nights away and three days feasting on gardens. Back home Monday morning. No need to ask Peter Williams to do any watering!
Unfortunately our visits to Amsterdam were before I became infected with bloggery and when I never used a camera!
In my previous London Gardens post, most of the pictures were from my good friend Harry Kennedy. Here is a composition of a few of my own.
I wonder what you think of the London plane pruned in the french style. I love it in street scenes when I visit France but am not sure about London. As I have grown older, I have moved from derision to begrudging admiration!
Although the Open Gardens Scheme provides a unique annual opportunity to see many of London’s gardens, many of the gardens are open more frequently and some all the time. Brenda’s son Iain has a flat a stone’s throw from the Shard (if you have a very good arm). Formerly a run down area, it now has new tall modern buildings springing up every time we go. Alongside modernity there are many fine old buildings. It’s not far to the site of the old debtors’ Marshalsea prison, a relic of Dickens time. On our last stay in Iain’s flat we had a local walk round. It is quite fascinating how many small gardens are so close to the Shard.
The picture taken from Iain’s window is Old Hallows church. Its garden is horticulturally un-special but it is a splendid green oasis in the busy city and it hosts a very fine acacia. From the same window looking up to a high horizontal roofline of flats you can see the top of the Shard. At night it looks like a huge colourful dalek standing on the roof. Sorry but my camera let me down yet again.
|I liked this approach to the growing and displaying of dwarf plants. Some fine alpine collections now use this technique which perhaps has some of the cultural advantages of a raised bed.|
|Pictures on our stroll|
If Borough market is open it is well worth a visit. All human life is here. There is so much tradition, craftsmanship, colour, character and fine produce that as the subject matter for a blog there would be stories for years.
|Link to London|
|Link to Amsterdam|
Link to my earlier post