It's not been bad for a May Day bank holiday. Gusty and cold after a month's worth of rain, but enough sunshine to make it worth seeing some gardens. So I persuaded Dan, Nick and Ian to join me on the Great Garden trail. This grand title makes it sound like a horticultural magical mystery tour; the reality was not so much a trail, as an alternative NGS open day - without the cakes. We picked three south London gardens, two of which were perfectly nice, text book designs, but somehow failed to inspire. Luckily, Ian and I caught Charles Rutherford's back garden just before he shut up shop. This was the one that got my big wow. I don't know what it looks like the rest of the year, but it really packs a big spring punch into a small space. Loved the Barbara Cartland pink tulips. I want those in my garden next year.
So the spring bank holiday is over, a change of government looms like a dark cloud and the weather forecast is for continued icelandic blasts of cold and unseasonal air. I think we should raise a glass to April and commit to memory these past few weeks of near-perfect weather, spring at its most gorgeous, full of hope for a hot summer and anticipation of a new growing season.
London in April was like a trippy sweet shop (cue Beatles pastiche music and psychedelic animations...). Days of clear blue skies (momentarily plane-free); bone-and-soil-warming sunshine; candyfloss pink cherry blossom trees lining suburban streets, jellybean-coloured tulips bobbing through flowerbeds all over town, fizzy lime new leaves unfurling before my eyes, and unmown grass glittering with spangle-like dandelions and sherbert daisies. Yum.
Writer, gardener and lover of gardens, plants and all green spaces, especially in cities where grass really does seem all the greener when it has concrete as a companion. I have a small back garden, shared with my husband and dog. A bigger space is a long way off, so for now I'm happy gardening in the neighbourhood and at work, whenever I can and discovering new greenery around town. This blog is about how I get my garden fix in London.