Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
The Bank Holiday may be over, but there's still plenty of fun and inspiration to be had at the Festival of the World at London’s Southbank Centre. The grey concrete areas around the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall have been transformed into an outdoor gallery by a series of exuberant art works. Look out for the beautiful baobab tree, 15 metres high and covered in fabric rings (left), the giant map made with Lego bricks, the row of little adobe houses and sculptures (great for children to play in), and trees lovingly decorated with balloons.
The terraces overlooking the Thames have become home to a series of colourful pop-up restaurants with food from all corners of the globe, complementing the treats on sale in the Real Food Market on the courtyard behind the buildings.
Blackboards list the plants and vegetables currently flourishing, bees and butterflies flit around, and best of all, visiting youngsters are actively encouraged to get involved. Go there while you can.
The festival runs until September 9.
Sunday, 12 August 2012
But could I award one more gold - for the gardeners at the Olympic Park, who’ve battled against the elements to turn Sarah Price’s garden design into a stunning reality, enjoyed by tens of thousands? I first saw the park in mid-June, when Stratford was still a building site. (See http://greenjottings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/going-for-gold-at-londons-olympic-park.html ) The plants were mostly foliage, any tall shoots buffeted by a stiff breeze.
But eight weeks on, as the crowd streamed in to cheer Usain Bolt, the difference was unbelieveable. The gardening team had achieved their goal of getting everything to flower in time and the banks of the River Lea were ablaze with colour. The design reflects the arrival in Britain of plants from all over the world. Above, the Orbit towers over the area with plants from
Kniphopfia bring a golden glow to the Southern Hemisphere garden.
The planting is designed to encourage wildlife. Here, bees enjoy some of the purple angelica in the Asia garden.
The pond in the Royal Horticultural Society Great British Garden. There's even a plum tree, the fruit almost ready for picking.