5 gardens to visit this Spring

Above: inside the Barbican Conservatory

We explored some of the most loved and hidden gardens in the city for you to add to your Spring walk bucket list.

Isabella Plantation: Richmond Park’s secret pink paradise

Isabella plantation

Richmond Park is well known for being London’s largest Royal Park, home to deer and other wildlife. At its heart lies Isabella Plantation, a secret 40-acre woodland garden. This garden has a vibrant tapestry of flowers, made up from stunning and exotic plants, flowers, and trees. Its breath-taking displays of azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons burst into bloom during the spring months, creating a paradisal maze for visitors to explore and experience the tranquil beauty of the gardens and the sounds of nature that surround them.

The plantation was established in the 1950s and has since been carefully maintained and cared for to become the oasis that it is today. The plantation is not just a beautiful garden, but also an important conservation area, providing a habitat for a range of wildlife including birds, insects, and small mammals.

In the Spring, the flowers come alive and are in full bloom between late April and early May, making this the ideal time to visit. With its stunning vistas, colourful blooms, and peaceful surroundings, Isabella Plantation is a must-visit for anyone looking to reconnect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

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Crossrail Place: a tropical roof garden high above Canary Wharf

crossrail place roof garden

Crossrail Place Roof Garden is a stunning oasis nestled in the heart of London’s Canary Wharf. This unique garden features over 2,000 square meters of lush greenery and exotic plants that are carefully curated to create a natural haven in the midst of a bustling city.

The garden is divided into two areas, each with a distinct character, inspired by its location on the Prime Meridian line separating the eastern and western hemispheres. The East Garden is inspired by the history and culture of the Canary Islands, with vibrant and exotic plants such as Golden Bamboo and Japanese Maple, while the West Garden is planted after the wetlands of the Americas, featuring Tree Ferns and Sweet Gum.

Designed by Foster + Partners, the Crossrail Place Roof Garden is a prime example of how urban spaces can be transformed into beautiful and functional green spaces. As the garden's roof is open to the elements year-round, Spring is a great time to visit as the weather improves. It is a testament to the potential of rooftop gardens to not only provide a respite from city life but also contribute to environmental sustainability.

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Bonnington Square: a community garden in the heart of Vauxhall

Bonnington square community garden

Bonnington Square Community Garden is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Vauxhall, London. The garden is a beautiful oasis of calm, featuring a range of flowering plants, fruit trees, and interesting pieces of history. The garden provides a space for the local community to come together, and hosts a range of events throughout the year from gardening workshops to jazz music concerts.

What sets this garden apart is its collaborative spirit, as it is carefully maintained by a group of dedicated volunteers. With its lush greenery and community spirit, Bonnington Square Community Garden is a shining example of how community-led initiatives can transform urban spaces and create a more connected world.

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The Barbican Conservatory: a botanical garden in the City of London

Barbican conservatory

    The Barbican Conservatory is a true hidden gem located in the heart of the concrete jungle. This garden is a lush tropical oasis that is home to a diverse array of plants, including palm trees, ferns, cacti, and exotic flowers. The garden's glass roof allows natural light to flood the space, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that transports visitors to a tropical paradise. As one of the largest conservatories in London, the garden is a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature.

    This iconic building is home to over 1,500 species of many endangered temperate plants and trees, giving visitors the opportunity to observe them up close. The garden's plants have been carefully chosen to minimise the need for artificial irrigation and fertilisers, and the space is maintained using sustainable gardening techniques.

    Set against the backdrop of the Brutalist architecture of the Barbican Estate, the Conservatory is a unique and unforgettable experience that is not to be missed.

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    Kew Gardens: a true tropical oasis

    Kew Gardens

      The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a stunning botanical garden and World Heritage Site located in southwest London, renowned for its breath-taking displays of flora from around the world. With over 50,000 living plants on display, the gardens provide visitors with a glimpse into the diversity and beauty of plant life.

      Kew Gardens is not just a feast for the eyes but also a site of learning and and botanical research. The gardens offer a range of interactive exhibits, guided tours, and workshops that provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the importance of plant conservation and sustainable living. The gardens are also home to several historic buildings and architectural wonders, including the iconic Palm House, the Temperate House, and the Princess of Wales Conservatory – the biggest in London.

      In the spring, the gardens come alive in a riot of colour as flowers such as daffodils, tulips, and cherry blossoms bloom. The gardens' extensive collection of magnolias also add to the vibrant display, creating a magical atmosphere that is sure to delight visitors of all ages.

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