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 -

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Kew Gardens in May

I only briefly visited Kew Gardens yesterday morning, this time to see the Azalea Garden and the Order Beds (to get some ideas for our own garden). Unfortunately, while the azaleas were still looking good, some blossoms had begun to fade and they looked as if they won't last too much longer.

It may be May now, but it could almost be a month later; this is like summer already. The weather has been warm and very dry recently, and you can see the effects.

The Palm House, Kew Gardens
A classic view of the Palm House at Kew - 4 May 2011

Holm Oak, Kew Gardens
A holm oak (Quercus ilex), one of the trees lining the Syon Vista - 4 May 2011

Kew Gardens in May
The Azalea Garden - 4 May 2011

Bench in the Azalea Garden, Kew Gardens
A bench in the Azalea Garden - 4 May 2011

Peonies, Kew Gardens
Peonies (Paeonia officinalis var. rubra) in the Order Beds - 4 May 2011

Queen Anne's Lace at the Temple of Aeolus, Kew Gardens
Queen Anne's Lace at the Temple of Aeolus - 4 May 2011

There are more pictures in this Flickr set: Kew Gardens 04/05/2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Finally Finding the Isabella Plantation

In my five years in London, I had never been to the Isabella Plantation. I had wanted to visit, but it had always been a bit too far away. Richmond Park is big, and feels even bigger when you've already spent the day walking along the river, or around Kew Gardens... This was why I didn't make it last year, either; I just took the boat back to Westminster instead (travelling in style).

I had wanted to see the Plantation in May, when it's supposed to look the best–so I waited another year, and finally went last weekend. It really is an amazing place, like I had imagined, and what I loved was that it felt like exploring a secret, forgotten world.
The azaleas and rhododendrons are in flower at this time of year, and they do not only look stunning, so very colourful, but they fill the garden with a lovely sweet scent as well. I was happy to see the bluebells in bloom, too; with all these other colours around, this is probably the prettiest bluebell walk that I've seen.

Isabella Plantation
The Still Pond - 30 April 2011

Isabella Plantation
Azalea light and colour reflections on the water - 30 April 2011

Isabella Plantation
Azalea walk - 30 April 2011

Isabella Plantation
Bluebell walk - 30 April 2011

Isabella Plantation
Rhododendron blossoms - 30 April 2011

More pictures can be found in this Flickr set: Isabella Plantation