chelsea physic garden

today i visited the wonderful chelsea physic garden – a secret garden right in the centre of chelsea;  established since 1673, its an independent charity that cultivates and promotes the importance of plants dedicated to the wellbeing of humankind.  a unique collection of over 5000 edible plants, all housed within the beautiful gardens,  and conservatories, its a peaceful oasis to find tranquility.  you can take lunch or afternoon tea there – its definitely worth it.   i particularly loved the victorian greenhouses, they were like little miniatures of the grand ones at kew gardens.

sadly my visit was in honour of my beautiful friend Carolyn – a fitting location to celebrate her life with all her friends and family – in the sanctuary of natures most precious gifts – Carolyn loved flowers and nature and i know that she would have loved this unique and special place, it reflected her character so now my memories of her will always be  reminded by my first visit to this harmonious garden.





the serpentine pavilion

always a pleasure to visit hyde park and the wonderful annual pavilion.  this years structure is very clever, simply designed with lightweight crates that give different illusions of scale from different viewpoints.  sometimes, the space feels very tall and spacious and then at other times feels transparent and wide.  designed by Bjark Ingels it sits handsomely with the green background of hyde park.   this year there are also 4 other smaller summer houses, just a short walk away in the park, they are also worth seeing.



flowers from my garden

all the warm weather has made my flowers pop out, but sadly it has also shrivelled them up quickly too – not used to this immense heat.

i have grown my passion flower in a pot to keep it down in size.  passiflora  gained this name due to the great imagination and devotion of the Portuguese and Spanish Jesuits .while exploring the exotic tropical rainforests of South-America they were astonished not only by the beauty and diversity of the plant  but also with all the symbolism that they immediately attributed to the plant. for the Jesuits, the flower of the passion vine had all the symbols of the Passion of Christ, and so it was named after this passion, not any other romantic or sensual passion that people might probably think of – after all it is indeed an exotic and extremely sweet fruit.  five sepals and five petals refer to the ten faithful apostles (excluding Judas and Peter). three stigma represent the three nails that held Christ to the cross, while five anthers represent his five sacred wounds. the tendrils of the flower are said to resemble the whips used in the flagellation, while the filaments, which can number in excess of a hundred depending on the flower, depict the crown of thorns. this powerful symbolism has led to the inclusion of the Passion Flower among the ornamentation of various churches, such as in stained glass window designs, altar frontals and lectern falls.


whitstable oyster festival

missing my fisherman’s college in whitstable, its just over 3 years now since i sold it and have only managed to get there once since then.  i remember that this time of year is when the whitstable oyster festival is on.  with  all the wonderful food stores and vans whitstable is definitely the destination for  speciality  good local food.    its a great time for a day visit, and especially if the weather is good – you may be lucky and can go in the sea!   take a walk from the harbour down towards seasalter – its a lovely walk and gets much quieter.  the festival commences in the next week.

there are usually lots of pop up shops, gift and vintage;  what i always loved about whitstable are the independent shops and the village type atmosphere. frank is my favourite shop – with its lovely choice of craft and art gifts, its what every place needs.


georgia o’keefe

a lovely day to spend at tate modern – walking along the river banks from waterloo to see some art.  i remember 15 years ago when there were very few places to eat along the river, and now there is so much choice.   a good starting point is borough market – you can eat very cheaply or finely – its your choice;  we tried arabica bar and kitchen, lebanese dishes, just perfect for lunch.  i loved the georgia o’keefe exhibition – i must admit i always thought that they looked too commercial, maybe its the iconic posters that you have seen whilst growing up, but seeing them up close and seeing the actual paint, you really appreciate the colours;  her paintings are quite varied, but apart from the flowers, she was definitely influenced by her home surroundings.  an elegantly handsome lady, her work spans over 7 decades and is definitely worth a visit.  there are also a few anselm kiefer photographs – how he gets those deep blacks alongside the highlights is just breathtaking – a friend of o’keefe, he not only took a few portraits of her, but also of the same views that o’keefe painted.

of course you can’t not take the lift up to the top of the new extension – the views are just spectacular, plus you can get a coffee at the very top!  all the public hallways and circulation spaces are very lavish and spacious, and as its over 10 floors, it definitely makes it less crowded.