Thursday, 24 April 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: Rogue Treader


A leisurely wander around the City of London last weekend became a joy, revisiting spots of green which are old favourites and discovering others I'd never seen before. Some of these great sights lent themselves to cameraphone pictures, like the gorgeous Zantedeschias pictured on the left, which are flowering away in the shadow of the Old Bailey

Others, like the two beautiful Handkerchief Trees I saw in Postman's Park, will require a personal visit. These Chinese natives are covered with most unusual flowers this time of year, hanging like white prayer flags tied to every branch. But they are frustratingly difficult to get a good picture of, because their very modest foliage and pale handkerchief flowers just merge into an undifferentiated green blur.


There was plenty to see, despite it being still early spring. I admired these purple tulips at the Barbican (right), where they were doing a great job of spicing up the dirty concrete entrance facade.

Grey and purple are a good combination and these tulips - I'm guessing they are "Negrita"
- are a really effective and dramatic foil to the Barbican's monstrous appearance - it all ends up looking almost intentional.  If you live in a concrete block or even a grey granite Cornish pile, a purple flower like "Negrita" will set things off beautifully, warming up the sombre tones to brown and lifting the whole ambience.


And St Paul's has a rose garden (left, currently full of tulips) at the south side which is
ridiculously smart, causing me to burst out laughing looking at it for the sheer verve of all those bulbs in such neat rows.

Perhaps the tidiness is helped by the fact that there is no apparent way for human beings to actually enter it.

Watergarden_guidlhallHowever my favourite spot in the City remains the pool in front of the
Guildhall, where in summer insects hang over the water and fly amongst
the reeds (right). It is just by the old City church of St Lawrence Jewry,
which makes a great backdrop for photos.

The pool has been cleared over the winter, but the aquatic plants are just beginning to poke their heads above the water again now that the days are lengthening. What a lovely peaceful place it manages to be, slap-bang in the middle of what must officially be one of the most frantic spots on earth.

And now that I've made you look at these four City gardens, you can download a map or a self-guided walking tour and visit them and the other 196 City gardens.

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