Aren’t the fox gloves just magical, they’ve shot up in the past two weeks,’ I said to my friend Harry. Who then proceeded to ask me what a foxglove looked like. ‘Harold!’ I chastised……. Luckily, you don’t have to know the latin name of every plant to appreciate the hidden gem that is The Inner Temple garden, London. But just for the record here they are in all their glory last Sunday;
I’d come for the open day and hand tied posie making classes held by The Inner temple gardens to celebrate Chelsea ‘Fringe’ Festival . A clever alternative garden festival to the famous Chelsea Flower show, which can be impossible to buy tickets for.
Nestled amongst the legal chambers of the Temple in London and set back from the Thames. The garden is a secret pocket of history. As far back as medieval times, an orchard was recorded as existing here. And Shakespeare made the garden a backdrop for a meeting which led to The War of the Roses.
On weekday lunchtimes, the garden is a big hit with workers who pour in through the gates with their sandwiches from 12.30pm. Living in London, can mean you sometimes feel very out of touch with the seasons, but the Inner Temple Garden is designed to bloom and look it’s best all year round. A huge undertaking, beautifully executed by Head Gardener Andrea and her team of gardeners and volunteers. They are dedicated to a garden which gives so many people pleasure.
The show stopping wisteria was out in full swing for the visitors;
And glass vases of peonies artfully suspended from trees looked like a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ladies planning summer weddings take note…..
Look at this verdant wheelbarrow of abundant herbs;
The steps to the pot garden growing narrower by the day for the barristers to dash through;
Buckets of scented stocks, sprigs of rosemary and greenery lay in wait, ready for Andrea to show us how to make our own spiral hand tied posie. ‘It’s not all about the flowers, too much colour is overrated,’ she tells us as we twist plenty of lush greenery into our bouquets. Truer words were never spoken. You appreciate the flowers all the more when there are fewer. Something I’ve been thinking about a lot since my holiday in Japan where they often use single flowers in vases.
I loved my slightly wild, loose, romantic looking posie, which smelt the very essence of summer in an English garden. I wish you could carry that scent round with you in the dark days of January. A promise of what’s to come. When the sun is shining and the whole year has been dedicated to cultivating such beautiful plants and flowers, it would be a shame to be anywhere other than the 3 acres of the Inner Temple garden.
The plants and flowers in the garden seem to vary so much from week to week, make it top of your list to visit this summer, open weekdays between 12.30 – 3pm and preferably listen to this;
But if you go in Autumn or Winter I can guarantee it will be just as beautiful with a seasonal display. Just the way Andrea and her team design it to be. Follow their green fingers on Instagram @innertemplegarden
Also visit www.chelseafringe.com for other events happening throughout May and June in London and beyond!