Lovely Gardens of London
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Lovely Gardens of London

London, the capital city of England, is most definitely one of the greenest capitals in the world, full of tree-filled squares and grassy parks. Moreover, there is no denying that the British are famed for their gardens and love of flowers. London's Gardens, whether big or small, offer a brief relief from the thrill of city life.

Royal Botanical Garden

(A view across the gardens to the Palm House in Kew Gardens, in London, England) Image source

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are a World Heritage Site and the most complete public gardens in the world.  Their reputation was first established by Sir Joseph Banks, the British naturalist and plant hunter, who worked here in the late 18th century.  In 1841, the former royal gardens were left to the nation, and now display about 40,000 different kinds of plants.  Kew is also the center for scholarly research and garden enthusiasts will want a full day for their visit.

Syon House and Gardens

The Syon house is the only mansion in the London area still in its hereditary ownership.  The interior of the house was remodeled in 1761 by Robert Adam, and is considered to be one of his masterpieces.  The 200 acre park was designed by England's greatest landscape architect and gardener Capability Brown, and includes a 40 acre garden with more than 200 species of rare tree.  The spectacular "Great Conservatory" inspired Joseph Paxton's designs for the Crystal Palace.

Hampton Court Palace Gardens

Image source

The inspiration for the Hampton Court Palace gardens were derived mainly from the time of William and Mary, for whom Christopher Wren, one of the leading English architects in history, created a vast, formal baroque landscape, with radiating avenues of majestic limes and many collection of exotic plants.  You can lose yourself in "The Maze," one of the garden's most popular features.  One can also appreciate the splendor of "The Pond Garden," a sunken garden that was part of Henry VIII's elegant design; and the lovely "Fountain Garden."

Chelsea Physic Garden

Originally founded by the Society of Apothecaries in 1673 to study plants for medicinal use, the Chelsea Physic Garden has survived to the present day.  It was saved from closure in 1722 by a gift from Sir Hans Sloane, whose statue adorns it.  The garden has since broadened its range of plants; it contains a Garden of World Medicine and a Pharmaceutical Garden. Today, visitors can also see ancient trees and one of Britain's first rock gardens, installed in 1772. 

Kyoto Japanese Garden

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Located inside Holland Park, the Kyoto Japanese Garden is a small garden created for the 1991 London Festival of Japan.  It was refurbished in 2001 under the supervision of a team of garden experts from Kyoto.  Plants were carefully pruned to reflect its authentic effect.  Though small, the garden is definitely a must see.

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Victoria Embankment Gardens is but a narrow sliver of a public park, created when the Embankment was built in the late 1860s between Blackfriars Bridge and Westminster Bridge in London. It boasts of a series of gardens with well-maintained flower beds.  Concerts are held here daily in the months of June and July.

Garden Museum

(Restored knot garden at the Museum) Image source

Opened in 1979, the Garden Museum, formerly known as the Museum of Garden History, is housed in and around the 14th century tower of St. Mary's Church.  In the churchyard is the tomb of a father and son both named John Tradescant, who were gardeners to the 17th-century monarchs.  The museum here consists of a history of gardening in Britain, illustrated by ancient implements, plans and documents.  A perfect reproduction of a knot garden outside is devoted to authentic plants and ornamentation from the Tradescants' era. 

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Comments (3)

I didn't even know about the lovely Japanese garden! Thanks for alerting me

Beautiful photos!

Such beautiful gardens! I absolutely love your interesting articles!