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Saturday, 9 June 2012

London's most unusual garden square

This weekend more than 200 London squares and gardens, mostly private, open their gates so visitors can discover some of the capital’s beautiful hidden spaces. To me, the most remarkable is the Garden Barge Square at Tower Bridge Moorings, Downings Rd, Southwark, where gardens have been created on converted barges.
The planting is in huge metal trays on rooftops and decks and ranges from an apple tree to evergreen and silver-leafed plants such as lavender and stipa, which thrive despite the windy air of the Thames.

I took these photos when I visited last year, and was amazed by the care and imagination that has gone into the creation of these gardens. There was even an apple tree, though because of the shallow depth of the soil, it could never grow very tall.
Even the walkways between the barges have been lined with plants. (The inspiration came from self-seeded wildflowers which sprang up on the barges back in the 1980s.)
Today, this floating square is a haven for insects and birds, and shows how a garden can be created almost anywhere.

London Garden Squares weekend, June 9 + 10, 2012:

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