Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kensington roof gardens


A couple of weekends ago we went up to London for Open Squares Weekend. In this annual event there are over 200 gardens in the capital open for visiting, many of them usually closed to the general public.

I first heard about Kensington roof gardens many years ago and they have been on my list of things to do. There is a one and a half acre garden, 100 feet up above London and all the plants are grown in just 18 inches of soil. Here are a few of my photographs.


The spanish garden was very striking with mediterranean plants and colours.


With water features


and shady places to sit, it was amazing - I almost forgot how high we were until I got glimpses of London buildings on the skyline.


Possibly London's highest vegetable plot with courgettes, sweetcorn and peas.


The famous flamingoes obligingly posed for photographs.


The garden was created in 1938 and many of the trees are seventy years old.


This oak tree was one of the larger ones - and all in 18 inches of soil!


There was a small meadow area complete with cow!


Views of the London skyline reminded us of where we were.


Back down at ground level, there is little indication of the secret garden on top of this building.


6 comments:

Everyday Things said...

I used to walk past this everyday many many years ago, as I went to college in Ken sq nearby. I think this was the Biba shop building back then. Its a beautiful building and part of london!

willow said...

Yes, apparently this was the Biba shop for a couple of years in the mid-seventies. I think I read somewhere that the gardens had a striking black colour scheme back then. They are now owned by Richard Branson.

Lucille said...

I had no idea about this and yet. . .I definitely went to Biba. How does that tree stand in 18" of soil? It must be pretty windy up there.

willow said...

I wondered about the wind damage, you would think that the trees would rock in the wind but they didn't appear to be supported in any way. As you can see from the photos the trees don't appear to suffer from wind damage. The walls were quite high, 10 feet or so which would give some protection. Maybe if the soil isn't that deep then the roots spread wide giving a stable base - it would be great to talk to the gardeners about this.

Heather LeFebvre said...

Wow that is amazing! I don't think I've heard of that garden before and I am amazed that it has been there for so long.

VintagePretty said...

What an unexpected treat! It seems hard to believe that the heat and pollution of London can sustain such a verdant and lush space. I got an email the other day saying that one of my favourite singer-songwriters, Ed Harcourt, was playing there and then saw this post! I can imagine that would be a concert and a half! Lovely photos :)

Best wishes,
Tash from vintagepretty.org