Chelsea Physic Garden. I love the tassel-like flowers - they're kind of burlesque and cheeky.
The Physic Garden is one of those special London spaces - positively bursting with historical gems: over 300 years old, it's the cradle of botany and has features like the Grade II listed, oldest rock garden in Europe (surely that must be the world? does anyone know of an older one?), not to mention some gorgeous plants for both medicinal and pleasurable purposes. It feels like a million miles away from the city, once you're inside the walls. And now it's open until 10pm on Wednesday's through til the end of August which makes it the perfect after work venue for the plant fetishist. Favourites on this latest visit were the camouflage bark of a Luma ariculata, the coal black stems of a giant New Zealand tree fern; oh and the fabulous collection of salvias.
And as with all good garden visits, you can have a drink and eat there too. The Physic Garden has a great reputation for mouthwatering cakes. Even better, on evening openings, you can have dinner there too. The food is great, with an ex-River Cafe team doing a set menu for £23 (antipasti, lobster and sicilian lemon tart- yum). You have to be a member to book - but it means it never gets too crowded. A perfect summer night out in the city.