You really ought to know about these summer hideaways
As soon as the sun starts shining, it’s time to head outdoors. The only problem is that everyone else has the same idea. Avoid the crowds and head to one of these secret gardens in the capital for some peace and quiet.
Geffrye Museum gardens
In keeping with their museum, their period outdoor spaces show the evolution of the English garden. Each one is set in a specific era (ranging from the 17th to 20th century), while the herb garden is planted with over 170 different types, with separate beds for household, medicinal, culinary, aromatic and dye plants.
Part of Richmond Park, this 40 acre woodland garden is filled with plenty of exotic plants including American Skunk Cabbage and Japanese azaleas. It is however best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams at their peak of flower in late April and early May.
Just a short walk from St Paul’s Cathedral lies Postman’s park, so called because it was once popular with workers from the nearby Old General Hospital. Nestled beneath a tiled roof are around 50 ceramic plaques, each commemorating those who lost their life trying to save others. This is the place to go to contemplate during your lunch break.
Hill Garden and Pergola
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Escape the crowds of Hampstead Heath and head to one of Hampstead’s best-kept secrets. At the top of the hill sits a 800 foot pergola offering beautiful views of the Heath, with wisteria trailing down from its rafters.
Japanese Roof Garden
Built in 2001, this Japanese-style garden, which sits on top of the School of Oriental and African Studies, offers a serene spot to sit outside in the capital. Dedicated to forgiveness, planting has been kept to a minimum, with lemon thyme used in a chequerboard pattern, climbing wisteria, combed sand and artfully placed rocks.