Monday, 15 August 2011

The heat of the moment

A riot of colours is the perfect antidote to the colour of rioting. London has been a strange place this past week. For the the first time in some 20 or so years of living here, I felt unsafe in my own home, just a few miles down the road from Ealing. But with no decent local shops worth looting, we seem to have escaped trouble, for now.
A flipside to the dark destruction, Kew gardens on Tuesday was a surreally peaceful haven in West London, the Duke's garden borders joyously exuberant with agapanthus, heleniums and other late summer flowers. People were strolling in the sunshine, as if nothing untoward was in the air.
At the end of the week I went to deepest South London to the lavender fields just south of Croydon, with my friend Dan. Who would have thought this picture, worthy of a provencal perfume-makers' field would be sitting on the outskirts of a burning borough? Mayfield Lavender is definitely worth a visit and again, picnickers and pleasure-seekers made all those troubles seem far away.
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And on Sunday I dodged Surrey road closures (due to the Olympic bike trial) and went to take a look at the late summer exuberance of the borders at Wisley. Now is a great time to see them in their full glory. 

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