Saturday, 24 September 2011

Autumn in London

Autumn Leaves in Osterley Park
London is beautiful in autumn. Here are some ideas for the "season of mists and mellow fruitfulness":

At Fenton House in Hampstead, the annual Apple Day event, "a celebration of the English apple in the historic orchard", is taking place this weekend, 24 and 25 September, from 11am to 4:30pm; adults £3, children £1.

Also in Hampstead, this year's Conkers Championship will take place as part of the Heath Heritage Festival on Sunday 9 October, at Parliament Hill Bandstand from 11am to 4pm; the event is free (and conkers will be provided!).

On Saturday 29 October, a Family Pumpkin Day will take place at Chiswick House and Gardens, and there will also be a Pumpkin Festival at Osterley Park and House on the same weekend, 29 and 30 October, 12pm to 4pm (this event is free).

Later in the year, from Friday 18 November to Sunday 4 December, Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland will give you a chance to wander around the gardens and arboretum when it's dark, with the trees illuminated by lights. 5pm to 9pm with last entry 8pm Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; adults £7, children £3.

Some of the best places to see autumn colours in London are, of course, its many parks and gardens, and particularly beautiful are the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park, the gardens at Eltham Palace, and the Pergola and Hill Garden in Hampstead Heath.

Glorious displays of colours can also be seen at Kew Gardens; there will be guided walks and tours as part of Autumn at Kew.

There are some seasonal walks in the Royal Parks, too, for example this free Autumn Bird Walk in Richmond Park on 15 October.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House is a hidden delight, a pretty contrast to the wilderness of nearby Hampstead Heath. The garden is situated at the Heath's northern border with Hampstead Lane, next to the Kenwood Nursery.

It used to be the kitchen garden of Kenwood House, and hence is also called the Kitchen Garden. Today it's a flower garden which features hedges, borders, a kidney-shaped butterfly bed–and a sundial, which is made of stones sunken into the lawn.

There is another garden at Kenwood House, the Flower Garden, with azaleas and rhododendrons, to the west of the house.

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The butterfly bed - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The lavender hedge and butterfly bed - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
Benches - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The lavender hedge - 14 September 2011

The Walled Garden at Kenwood House
The sundial - 14 September 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hampstead Heath in August

Tumulus Field, Hampstead Heath
The Tumulus Field, looking towards South Wood - 29 August 2011

Trees on the Tumulus Field, Hampstead Heath
Autumnal colours - 29 August 2011

I always take lots of photos of the Heath, too many for this blog; so I have decided to try a "one photo a day" project, it lives here: ayearonhampsteadheath.blogspot.com

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The End of Summer in Cannizaro Park

Cannizaro Park was stunning in spring this year. I loved the crocuses in February, and the other spring blossoms in March and April–and then there was the dry weather. When I last visited the park in May, I thought that it looked very summery already, compared to last year, too.

Now summer seems to come and gone already; the dry grass, the trees that are beginning to change colour, the fallen leaves, and the autumn flowers that have started to appear give the park an autumnal feel.

And Cannizaro Park in autumn is something to look forward to...

The Iris Garden, Cannizaro Park
The Iris Garden in Cannizaro Park - 24 August 2011

Autumn Leaf, Cannizaro Park
Fallen leaves - 24 August 2011

Cyclamen, Cannizaro Park
Cyclamen, near the Sunken Garden - 24 August 2011

Friday, 19 August 2011

Kew Gardens in August

I don't spend as much time walking around parks and gardens in summer, as I do in spring–and autumn. I like the change of seasons. Kew Gardens is a place that I visit regularly, because there is so much to see, and it changes all the time.

In the Japanese Landscape Garden at Kew, the anemones are in bloom now, and the hydrangeas are still looking good, too. I like their soft pink hues, which I think make a nice change to the hot colours of many of the other late summer flowering plants.

And there are some early heralds of autumn, too: The first colchicums and cyclamens are out, in the Woodland Garden.

The Japanese Gateway
The Japanese Gateway - 19 August 2011

Japanese Anemone
Japanese anemone in the Japanese Landscape Garden - 19 August 2011

Lacecap Hydrangea in the Japanese Garden
Lacecap hydrangea in the Japanese Landscape Garden - 19 August 2011

Colchicum speciosum
Colchicum speciosum, in a flower bed near the Broad Walk - 19 August 2011

Colchicum speciosum
Colchicum speciosum - 19 August 2011

Cyclamen hederifolium 'album'
Cyclamen hederifolium 'album', in the Woodland Garden - 19 August 2011

More pictures: Kew Gardens 19/08/2011 set on Flickr

Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Apple Orchard at Fenton House

The orchard at Fenton House isn't just a lovely place in spring, but in summer as well, when the apple trees mature and bear fruit. Still a while to go (and then it won't be summer anymore!); this year's Apple Day will be held on the weekend of 24 and 25 September.

The Apple Orchard at Fenton House
The apple orchard at Fenton House - 24 July 2011

Apples in the Orchard at Fenton House
Apples in the orchard at Fenton House - 24 July 2011

Monday, 27 June 2011

Summer Teas at St Anne's on Kew Green

Summer Teas at St Anne's, Kew Green
People having tea in the churchyard, watching the cricket on the green - 26 June 2011

Kew Green is Kew's old village green, and it very much still feels like a village green these days. It's surrounded by Georgian houses and nice pubs, and it has a pretty church and a cricket pitch.

On summer Sundays, you can experience one of these great little things that London can offer there (and for me, as a German, it's something very English):
From 15:00 to 17:00, St Anne's is serving Summer Teas in the church hall. You can sit in the old churchyard among the gravestones, enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and watch the cricket match on the Green.

(There's music in the church, too; this year's program is available as a PDF here.)

Kew Green is about ten minutes' walk from Kew Bridge and Kew Gardens stations, from where the 391 bus will also take you there.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

An Evening at Kew Gardens

I like going to Kew Gardens early, when it opens at 9:30. Today, I went in the late afternoon, early evening–the summer closing time on weekends is 19:30. I loved the gardens in the evening light, a great ending to a great day.

Kew Gardens
A bench near the lake - 26 June 2011

The Redwood Grove, Kew Gardens
Pine trees, near the Redwood Grove - 26 June 2011

The Lily Pond, Kew Gardens
The Lily Pond - 26 June 2011

The Temple of Bellona, Kew Gardens
The Temple of Bellona - 26 June 2011

The Rock Garden and Davies Alpine House, Kew Gardens
The Rock Garden and Davies Alpine House - 26 June 2011

The Rock Garden, Kew Gardens
The Rock Garden - 26 June 2011

More photos in this Flickr set: Kew Gardens 26/06/2011

Saturday, 25 June 2011

The Duke's Garden

The Duke's Garden is one of the lesser-known corners of Kew, overlooked by many visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

This walled garden formerly was the private garden for Cambridge Cottage, once residence of 1st Duke of Cambridge, after whom the house and its garden take their names. They became part of the Royal Botanic Gardens in 1904. Cambridge Cottage now houses the Kew Gardens Gallery.

The garden features large lawns and seasonal beds, which are looking very colourful at this time of the year. It is also home to a lavender collection.

More information is available on Kew Gardens' website:

The Duke's Garden, Kew Gardens
The Duke's Garden, with Cambridge Cottage in the background - 24 June 2011

The Duke's Garden, Kew Gardens
Seasonal flower beds - 24 June 2011

The Duke's Garden, Kew Gardens
Looking towards the entrance to the garden - 24 June 2011

Lavender at Kew
Lavender (lavandula angustifolia 'Hidcote') - 24 June 2011

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Summer Flowers on Hampstead Heath

Wild Flowers on Hampstead Heath
Wildflowers at the pond on the Tumulus Field - 21 June 2011

There are some cheerful splashes of summer colour on Hampstead Heath, too. My favourite flowers there at the moment are these cornfield wildflowers at the new pond on the Tumulus Field, and the foxgloves at the Sphagnum Bog on the West Meadow.

Foxgloves on Hampstead Heath
Foxgloves at the Sphagnum Bog on the West Meadow - 21 June 2011

Foxgloves on Hampstead Heath
Foxgloves in the afternoon light - 21 June 2011

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Gardens at Ham House

I made my first proper visit to the gardens at Ham House last week, a place that I'd been to a couple of times before, but that I hadn't properly explored yet. I didn't visit the house (this is for a rainy day), but had a good look around the gardens, which I thought were lovely. I particularly liked the Orangery Kitchen Garden, with its pretty seasonal flowers, and the hidden corners of the Wilderness.

I would definitely like to visit again, at a different time of the year–I imagine this would be good place to see in autumn, too, especially the Cherry Garden (where there are no cherries anymore, but lavender and santolina, which have recently been replanted).

For more information on Ham House and Gardens, see the National Trust's website.

Ham House
The south side of Ham House, seen from the Wilderness - 14 June 2011

Ham House seen from the Kitchen Garden
The house seen from the Orangery Kitchen Garden - 14 June 2011

Poppies in the Garden at Ham House
Lilac poppies in the Orangery Kitchen Garden - 14 June 2011

Ham House
Another view of the house seen from the Wilderness - 14 June 2011

Summer House in the Wilderness Garden at Ham House
A summer house in the Wilderness Garden - 14 June 2011

Roses in the Garden at Ham House
A rose in the Wilderness Garden - 14 June 2011

More photos can be found in this Flickr set: Ham House and Gardens

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Summer Colours at Kew

I loved spring in Kew Gardens this year–especially the crocuses, daffodils, magnolias and lilacs–but when I visited the gardens in May, I was a bit sad that I'd missed the best of some of the other spring blooms.

Now, June has made up for it with some glorious summer colours–I've found them at the Rose Pergola and Order Beds, and in the Duke's Garden, where there are many cottage garden flowers blooming; and I absolutely loved the poppy field near the Orangery (sometimes it's the simple things, isn't it?).

The Rose Pergola at Kew
The Rose Pergola - 14 June 2011

The Rose Pergola at Kew
The Temple of Aeolus seen from the Rose Pergola and Order Beds - 14 June 2011

Rose at the Rose Pergola at Kew
Rose 'Chevy Chase', with the Order Beds and Temple in the background - 14 June 2011

Roses and Sweet Peas at Kew
Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus 'Matucana') at the Rose Pergola - 14 June 2011

Lavender and Sage in the Duke's Garden at Kew
Lavender and sage in the Duke's Garden - 14 June 2011

Lavender in the Duke's Garden at Kew
Lavender in the Duke's Garden - 14 June 2011

Poppies and the Orangery at Kew
Poppies at the Orangery - 14 June 2011

Poppies at Kew
Poppy field (near the Orangery) - 14 June 2011

Poppies at Kew
Poppy at Kew Gardens - 14 June 2011

More photos can be found in this Flickr set: Kew Gardens 14/06/2011

Monday, 30 May 2011

Around Hampstead Heath

I've been walking a lot around Hampstead Heath lately, which I think is already looking very summery.

Hampstead Heath has a variety of landscapes, which I all like; there are some parts of the Heath that I like better in different seasons. The open grasslands of the Tumulus Fields and Cohen's Fields are my "Summer Heath".
And I love that you can see London's skyline from there–it's "so close, yet so far away". (No skyscrapers are hiding in these pictures!)

Trees on the South Meadow, Hampstead Heath
Trees on Tumulus Fields - 10 May 2011

The South Meadow, Hampstead Heath
Tumulus fields, looking west from the Model Boating Pond - 10 May 2011

Buttercups on Hampstead Heath
Buttercups - 10 May 2011

Hampstead Heath
Ox-eye daisies on Cohen's Fields, looking north towards Kenwood - 20 May 2011

Hampstead Heath
Tumulus Fields, looking south towards the Tumulus - 24 May 2011

- Edited on 16/06/2011 -