I always seem to pay a price for my vacations...the nanobattery encyclopedia article lies on my desk unfinished, the scanning electron microscope must be fired back into life, and the garden is speckled with spring weeds. I keep part of my prairie plot unmowed, and rampant self-seeding into the flower beds is the result.
But I will procrastinate on it all, for just one more afternoon, to tell you what-I-saw-in-London and savor it again myself.
Down a busy street in Richmond, a sign painted on a brick wall beckons with the promise of something special this way. Past the narrow alley the landscape opens up onto the Petersham meadows, and down the lane is a nursery straight out of a Merchant Ivory film set.
In addition to impossibly beautiful garden ornaments and handmade candles smelling of 'Marie Antoinette's Dreams' there is a restaurant (expensive) where the waitresses wear wellies and a cafe (reasonable) for lunching outside. Petersham nurseries is in danger of losing its planning permission due to the increasing vehicle traffic; visit by public transport if you can. Instructions for supporting their application for permanent planning permissions are on their website.
Stumbled upon in central London, next to the old city walls, the herb garden of the Worshipful Company of Barbers, with useful information about how to stay awake in church
We were on our way to the Barbican, actually, whose water garden by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon far-off garden historians will someday study as a quintessential example of a 1970s landscape:
And that great lady, Kew was wearing a couple of new necklaces. The treetop walkway:
and the new Sackler bridge by John Pawson with its sublime curve: this is minimalism I can believe in.
More about the rest of my trip later; for now it is on to an interlude of weeding and an evening of writing about nanobatteries.