I was going to call this A Whiter Shade of Pale but I just couldn’t bring myself to. So in place of awful pun, a very pedestrian title for a beautiful place.
I have written more than once about the Rookery, our lovely local walled garden on Streatham Common, and we go there more than ever these days, due to the upgraded cafe, much-loved paddling pool and the convenience for dropping in on the way to or from school.
With our visits being so frequent, I wasn’t sure there was anything new to write about – till I realised I had never really looked closely at the famous White Garden.
It’s right at the bottom of the main walled garden, secluded and usually peaceful, but a bit of a through-route to the other half of the common, Norwood Grove, so I’d never spent time really sitting and appreciating it.
Apologies that so few of the shrubs or trees are identified – I’d love to know what some of them are, though I do know some of the planting is meant to reflect the history of the gardens and replicate some of what was there originally.
The next things I noticed were plants evidently chosen for the pale or silvery foliage (ok, in the second image here, it’s still fairly green, but it has a kind of silvery sheen on it I rather like).
A proper view of the border gives you a real sense of the scale of the place – the way the greenery is offset by the warmth of the brick wall is very pleasing, with little dashes of white here and there, and the dramatic height of the tree behind.
Finally, a view of the other border, which is dominated by the tree left of centre – it was hard to get a good picture of it alone, but it had creamy white flowers like a magnolia, but flat rather than bell-shaped.
Not much else to say except what a pleasure it was to take these photos and how glad I am I took the time to have a proper up-close look at the White Garden.
Please, if you’re lucky enough to have local parks and gardens as nice as this, visit them, enjoy them, appreciate them!