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Top 5: Places to enjoy Spring flowers in London

12 April 2018 Suzanne Frost

London may seem like a grey miserable concrete jungle at times but there are a surprising amount of parks and gardens to enjoy some greens and tentative colourful bulbs to ring in the open air season. Surely it can’t be much longer now! Funnily enough, the low temperatures mean that many of the February and March blossoms that should have come and gone by now are still in bloom and can be admired in our selection of fragrant flower locations.


Kew Garden

The most obvious choice: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage site and with over 250 years of history and 300 acres of land boasting more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, Kew is a great place to visit any time of the year. Springtime is special though, when the avenue from the palm house to the temperate house is lined with flowering cherry blossom trees. At Victoria Gate you will be greeted by a sea of over two million blue, white and mauve crocuses, while Elizabeth Gate boasts 250 types of stunning magnolias. Kew offer daily spring tours to discover magnificent bulbs and blossoms such as snowdrops, crocuses, bluebells and daffodils in bloom from 1 March to 4 May.
 
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are at TW9 3AB London, tickets are £15

 

Holland Park

Holland Park's Kyoto Garden was carefully designed to reflect key traits of Japanese gardens, including stone lanterns, tiered waterfalls and a pond with some pretty koi carp. Known for its colourful blossom trees, the Kyoto Garden is also home to Holland Park's famous peacocks. It may be the least ‘secret’ secret garden in London but it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful escapes from urban life, where the tranquillity is only occasionally disturbed by the squawks of the peacocks. For tulips, another spring staple blossom, head over to the Dutch Garden with its manicured flowerbeds boasting a rainbow array of tulips.
 
Holland Park is at Ilchester Pl, Kensington, W8 6LU

 

Chelsea Physics Garden

London’s oldest botanical garden was established in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in order to grow medicinal plants and herbs. Thanks to a seed exchange program, the index seminum, established in 1683, Chelsea Physics Garden has many plants not usually found in the UK, such as the largest fruiting olive tree in Britain, along with what is doubtless the world's northernmost grapefruit growing outdoors, protected by the garden's heat-trapping high brick walls. Smell a thousand combinations of scents from herbs to fruit to flowers and hear the buzzing and chirping of birds and insects enjoying the garden as much as you are. Also, the Tangerine Dream Café comes highly recommended for an al fresco lunch break.
 
Chelsea Physics Gardens are at Curators House, 66 Royal Hospital Rd, Chelsea, SW3 4HS and tickets are £10.50

 

Chelsea Flower Show

Another staple in the spring calendar, the Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous flower and landscape gardens show in the United Kingdom, and perhaps in the world.  Held over five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the event draws 157,000 visitors each year, including the Royal Family. Around 550 exhibitors show gardens across a range of styles from artisan to fresh gardens, floral displays and garden furniture, with awards handed out in categories such as Best Floral arrangement or Chelsea plant of the year. A major first for this year will be The Chelsea Late Event where visitors can enjoy entertainment in the form of live music, wandering artists, an artisan food market and a view of the Artisan Gardens by twilight.

The Chelsea Flower Show 2018 takes place 22-26 May and tickets for non-members start at £45.

 
 
Columbia Road Flower Market

To take some of those Spring flowers home to decorate your house with, there is really no better place in the whole city than Columbia Road Flower Market. Every Sunday, the little road of Victorian shops in Shoreditch overflows with bucketfuls of beautiful flowers. Everything from bedding plants to 10-foot banana trees is up for grabs. The air is intense with the scent of flowers and the chant of the barrow boys "Everthin' a fiver". Many try to tell you the best time to visit is extra early (first choice) or as things start to wind down at around 2pm (for the best bargains) but really there is no right time: the street will be packed with tourists, backpackers and families with buggies, toddlers and dogs all pushing past at snail pace. This is not for the hasty – so relax, take a deep breath and smell the flowers! Alongside the Sunday market you’ll find a host of independent shops, small art galleries, vintage clothes stores, delis, antique shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. It is all picture perfect but you might be luckier getting a table in very near by and equally lovely Broadway Market just across the canal.
 
Columbia Road Flower Market is at Columbia Rd, E2 7RG every Sunday from 8am – 2 pm.

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