Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, London

England! I can't believe it, but my husband and I are finally on vacation again. Our last one was four years ago, but now we are in London! I am so excited to be here, to see the historic buildings and of course the great public parks, enjoy dining at good restaurants, do some shopping, antiquing, and people watching. 

 (you can click on the pictures to enlarge the photos)

View from our hotel room window. What could be more proper than the sight of a waving Union Jack.

Map of the Hyde Park, which we visited on our very first day in England. It was in walking distance from our hotel. How cool is that, when you just can walk to a world famous park? As you can see on the map the right side of the park is called Hyde Park and the left Kensington Gardens, even though it is actually only the two sides of one park divided by a lake.

We knew that England is the country of the lovely parks and gardens right away after we entered Hyde Park through one of its many entry gates. This house was formerly guarding the gate and we don't know what function it fulfills nowadays, but the surrounding garden was for sure already a treat for the eyes.


The garden was so densely planted I couldn't believe it how many plants they squeezed into the small space and of course the effect was simply stunning and so beautiful.  

Close - up of one of the cute little pale lilac blooms.


View of the same area looking to the other side.

It is hard to imagine, that they actually took the time and made the effort to stake many single plants. Obviously that work must be done by hand and one plant at a time. 

The backyard of the guard house. I love the contrast between the dark red leaved trees and the lush dark and light green plantings. Also a tropical palm seem to be right at home in this harmonious planting scheme.

The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.

Close - up of some pretty lilac flowers.

Beautiful plant combo of white, silver, and lilac.

White foxglove. It is amazing how well foxgloves grow here in England. They are one of my favorite plants besides roses, of course.

Another lovely flower bed.

I like the hardy geranium in the front corner of this bed quite a bid. It builds a nice round mound whereas mine in San Diego is just lying flat on the ground. Would love to know what variety it is...

The silver spiky plants are quite interesting and they make such a lovely combination with the yellow flowering ones.

Here is a close-up of the yellow flowering plant that you can see in the photo of the flower bed above.

By now we had come much closer to the Albert Memorial. It is really gigantic and impossible to photograph without special equipment, when you are close by, but I wanted to show it to you anyway. Queen Victoria build this for her husband after he died. 

The Albert Memorial is surrounded by four groups of statuary at the foot of it, which are all very beautifully carved and very impressive themselves.

This photo shows another one.

Unfortunately it seem to be the case that my husband and I took only photos of three of the statuary groups.

Continuing our walk in the Kensington Gardens we passed by this beautiful bed. I really love the white flowering shrub in the middle of the bed and would like to know what the name of it is. If you have any idea, especially my British readers, please let me know!

Close - up of the flowers in the front of the bed shown in the photos above...

and close - up of a branch of the white flowering shrub, also shown on the photo two photos above. Isn't it lovely?

Another wonderful group of foxgloves. I like the contrast with the lilac small flowers in the background quite a bit.

One last group of foxgloves, this time more planted in a forest setting.  I really admire how versatile this plant can be used in the garden.

I intend to post more about the public parks and private gardens my husband and I visited in England. So if you liked this one I can promise you it will only get better...

See you in the garden!



  1. Oh, what a treat! How fabulous to go on vacation - and to see such beauty! Loved looking at your pictures. I can imagine how wonderful it must have been in person. Lots of ideas here.

  2. This park, is a 'must see', in London ! Thank you, for a beautiful walk .

  3. Wow christina. You two always seem to capture the prettiest pictures. It looks like you are really enjoying your vacation.

  4. Holley, thanks for leaving a comment. Going on vacation to England is indeed a treat for us. I thought, too, that there are so many ideas hidden in these park plantings that you can make use of in your own garden on a much smaller scale, of course.

    Dani, I agree with you Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are a must, if you are visiting London. Sounds like you have been there, too?

    Stephanie, thanks. Klaus and I just love to take pictures and we enjoy our vacation tremendously so far. The British folks are so into gardening it is unbelievable.


  5. What a great vacation!! Beautiful flowers, gardens and statuary, but my favorite is the Albert Memorial. That is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing even while you're in England.

  6. Wonderful photos of this garden. The Albert Memorial is magnificent and quite overwhelming. Can only imagine how Victoria felt upon seeing it after its completion.

  7. Sherry, thanks, the Albert Memorial is really something! I was quite impressed by it, too.

    Redneck Rosarian, thanks for leaving a comment. I believe I have read somewhere that Queen Victoria was quite in love with her husband and her tribute to him shows it!


  8. Lucky you! Maybe one day we'll get to go somewhere too.... I love all the green, and beautiful foxgloves and the statues at the Albert Memorial. Thank you for the tour.

  9. Masha, thanks for visiting again, I am glad you liked the tour through the parks.


  10. The white-flowering shrub in question is a "Mock-orange" (Philadelphus).

    These sweet fragrant blossoms combined with the flowering of "Small-leaved Lime" (Tilia cordata) are dreamily perfuming my little corner of Boston (Jamaica Plain) right now.

  11. What a wonderful treat! Thanks, Christina.
    I love foxgloves, too. They grew wild all over Sedona, AZ, where we lived for many happy years.
    Was the white shrub fragrant?

  12. JTG, thank you sooo... much for letting me know the name of the white flowering shrub. I have seen it now many more times here in England and I simply love it. I have to look it up and find out if I can grow it in Southern California, too.

    Sandra, thanks for commenting. I would love to see the wild foxgloves in Sedona, maybe one day. I have heard that Sedona is a very lovely place. Unfortunately I don't know if the white flowering shrub is fragrant or not. So far I was always to far away to take a whiff, but the commentator above you says it is and that it is called a Mock-Orange.


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