Thursday, 9 January 2014

I Love London in the Springtime

Only the other day, I was discussing with a friend the beauty of Europe in the Spring. She'd never seen it.
With Europe an 18 hour flight away (from the near side of Australia), and flights being of a significant cost, she'd always visited during our summer, when Uni and school were out for two or three months, allowing for sufficient time to experience a chunk of any planned route. Travelling in their winter also meant cheaper accommodation, fewer tourists and for West Australians, unfamiliar weather thrown into the mix.

What it did mean though is that you missed the transformation of Europe. The sudden change from grey and miserable to the brightest, happiest colours imaginable. And this is just London.

Kensington Palace:
Visiting in early spring, I have more photos of this small sunken garden than I do of the Palace, which says a lot. It was just a pity that this was cordoned off from public access as it looked to be the perfect retreat.

Eltham Palace: 
The garden here, hidden against the moat wall, was an unexpected delight, providing a splash of unstructured colour that contrasted with the fluid precision of the house. 

Hampton Court:
Hampton Court's gardens were beautiful. Though this sunken garden too was out of bounds to tourists, there was a tranquillity about it one didn't want to disturb. I also felt I needed to be wearing panniers or a farthingale to appreciated it properly.

Green Park: 
As perhaps its name implies, Green Park is usually a park of green grass crossed with paths and lines of majestic old trees. Stumbling upon it one spring day, I was surprised to see the clutter of the white and yellow daffodils that rippled around the trees and down the edges of some paths. It was delightful to be able to lie down (taking care of the wet ground) and surround yourself with the gently nodding flowers. 

Holland Park:
We stumbled upon Holland Park on our way from the tube station to Leighton House, home of the painter Frederick, Lord Leighton. They were beautiful in themselves, and I always meant to return and wander through them properly. 

Tavistock Square Gardens:
Another unintentional visit as part of a day out enjoying the Open Gardens scheme. We were waiting on friends to join us before we headed in to the British Medical Association.

British Medical Association:
A hidden gem no one expected.

Kew Gardens:
Stupidly, I hadn't really realised what Kew Gardens actually entailed when I headed there for a picnic lunch with some friends from back home. Abandoning the smaller pairs of legs in the mid-afternoon I had the opportunity to head off and explore a greater part of these expansive gardens to great delight.

Greenwich Park was quite literally just down the road from our house and so was frequently visited for its own marvels or as part of our shortcut down to the food market and shops of Greenwich. MP and G got very good at leaving me behind, well aware of my love of stopping to try and capture some vista or get a shot of their rapidly retreating backs. Down out the front of the Maritime Museum the grass would also be sparsely carpeted in daffodils in the spring. 

At our little town centre, the central round-about was usually unexciting, until spring arrived and the tiny patch of grass was covered in rows of daffodils and crocuses. 

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