London offers a great selection of places to go out and admire them or take a moment to stop and recharge your mind. Here are some of my favourite gardens, conservatories and nurseries to feed my green addiction.
Make sure to check the safety measures each place has before you go out and visit.
Chelsea Physic Garden
The Chelsea Physic Garden is London’s oldest botanic garden and has been an apothecary garden since 1673…so you can imagine they know their plants and how to display them, all 5,000 of them! I loved the Mental Wellness corner that encouraged you to smell and touch the plants and to sit down, close your eyes and listen to the sounds. I also learned that there are way more chillis than I thought – so I need to work on my chilli pepper game. But the highlight of course is the little section dedicated to the elixir of life: tea.
The Barbican Conservatory is a botanical dream! You’ll find species of trees and plants as well as a special cacti and succulents corner, all against a concrete backdrop which gives you the idea you escaped (or got lost in) a dystopian world. Many of the outdoor gardens are not active during the colder months so the Conservatory is the go-to place that allows you to enjoy the beauty of plants, trees, and flowers throughout the year.
The Crossrail Place Roof Garden
Among the towering buildings and power suits of Canary Wharf you’ll find a green oasis. Designed to display and conserve plants from the eastern and western hemispheres to reflect the indigenous to countries visited during the 19th century by trading ships, this place is really a haven from the madness of the city.
St Dunstan In The East
Head on over to London Bridge and you’ll stumble upon St Dunstan in the East, a green space that’s built around the church that was damaged during the Blitz. If you are visiting London you might want to skip the place during lunchtime but if you come before or after that, you can have the pretty garden nearly all to yourself – except for a photo shoot here and there or a school class stopping by for a demonstration what happened at the place during the Great Fire.
The Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola
If flowers and trees are your thing, the Hampstead Hill Garden and Pergola is the place to be. Story goes that a rich philanthropist wanted to build a pergola for his garden parties, but sadly he passed away before it was finished, so in his spirit lets all go hashtag him while you spam our Instagram #Leverhulme. And while you’re there why not watch the sunset at Hampstead Heath? If you manage to cough up some change with all the money I’ve saved you, get cheese and a bottle of finest M&S red and enjoy.
The Phoenix Garden is where I used to escape the chaos when I worked in Holborn. And one of my observations is that a lot of people seem to walk into the community garden when they spot the Stik graffiti wall and stay for the range of urban wildlife the little place offers.
Dishonourable mention – Sky Garden
You don’t really go here to escape or enjoy the plant selection, but the SkyGarden (located on the 43rd floor of the Walkie Talkie building) offers one of the most beautiful and free views of the London skyline. Though the green bit seems to reduce every time I visit it, so enjoy it while it lasts.