Monday, January 14, 2013

Gardens at the Imperial War Museum, London

After finishing my visit to London’s Garden Museum the plan was to meet up with Andrew at the Imperial War Museum, where he’d been for the last couple of hours (there is something for everyone on Lambeth Road!). I didn’t expect to discover this right next to the War Museum…

I saw no signage to identify this garden, after a little online research the best I can come up with is a guess that it’s the World Garden at Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

It was small but packed with my kind of plants.

Euphorbia myrsinites.

And I believe this is Beschorneria tubiflora…

Nolina or Dasylirion? I was pretty sure it was a Nolina but then noticed the tiny teeth along the leaf margin.

The Imperial War Museum…

But there was no sign of the husband. I spotted more plants in the distance and wandered on to discover a Peace Garden, what a nice counterbalance to the big naval guns in front of the museum building…

Located in the ground of the Imperial War Museum, lies this fitting tribute to peace and the power of considered contemplation. Opened in 1999 by the Dalai Lama, the garden often gets overlooked by visitors to the museum but really is worth a visit – especially in conjunction with a trip to the War Museum with its dramatic displays of conflict. A poignant homage to harmony and the power of nature to inspire and unite, the garden (otherwise known as Samten Kyil) also promotes a greater understanding of Buddhist culture. Eight meditation areas surround the main monument - the Kalachakra Mandala - traditionally associated with world peace. Four modern Western sculptures representing Air, Fire, Earth and Water have been carefully located to the north, south east and west, while a Language Pillar, inscribed with a message from the Dalai Lama written in Tibetan, English, Chinese and Hindi promotes communication and understanding between cultures and individuals. If this all seems a bit too much and you just want a quiet, soothing walk, head for the inner gardens which are scented with herbs, jasmine, honeysuckle and roses. An outlying landscaped area is also great for ambling around.” (source)

And finally, what a unique piece of garden art…

No, this wasn’t in the Peace Garden, but rather back by the front of the museum.

11 comments:

  1. Great gardens just seem to pop up everywhere you go. What a nice compliment to the war museum. I'm assuming that you did finally find Andrew.

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    1. Oh ya him...yes. He was hiding right in plain sight.

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  2. Are you sure you didn't spot Andrew, or did you just deliberately not find him so you can wander around a bit longer? :) either way I'm glad you found this little gem of a garden, which I'm not even aware of myself before.

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    1. Perhaps it was a subconscious decision? They were both small gardens but well done and fun to discover. For me that's one of the best memories I have of London, discovering small hidden gems like these (and smaller) all through the city.

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  3. That mandala is beautiful! I'd love to see more of the four elemental sculptures too.

    My first thought on the first garden was: kinda boring visiting a garden that contains many of the same plants that you already grow, isn't it? Then I thought about it, and I do that all the time -- it's not boring at all! (I guess it's been a while since I visited other gardens...)

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    1. Sorry for some reason I didn't even aim the camera in the direction of the other two sculptures. I guess you'll just have to make a trip there to see them for yourself!

      The thing about visiting a garden like this for me is seeing interesting planting combinations and (especially in London) seeing how they go about providing the drainage and heat (sun) that my kind of plants need.

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  4. I keep being surprised by your posts showing gardens that do not fit my image of the typical English garden at all.

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    1. Perhaps I'm just programmed to find the unusual?

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  5. *sigh* London is such a magical place. I often dream of some wild urban heat island to make things about degrees F warmer during the wintertime. Could you imagine?! That would mean bad winters dipping down into the mid 20's and most years virtually frost free. I could handle that. But then again, If I'm really dreaming, I wouldn't want anything outside of a USDA zone 11.

    PS - whatever that nolina/dasylirion is, I simply must have it - I'll also take that agave and the yucca aloifolia.

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    1. Wish I could deliver both the plants and the temperatures Louis. This current cold spell is getting old...

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