Dear Readers, you might remember that I visited this serene space in the middle of the Inns of Court a few months ago. Since then I’ve become somewhat evangelical about the gardens, which combine interesting planting with a sense of informality which I find very appealing. I was intrigued to see what would still be in flower in the middle of November, and as I walked up to the gates, I spotted this remarkable plant, which I think is a cup-and-saucer vine (Cobaea scandens).
I’m not sure if these are buds or seedheads, but they are most remarkable structures.
Inside the garden there were salvias a-plenty, still mostly in flower. One of them was even hosting a drowsy bumblebee (not so drowsy that I managed to get a photo of her though).
The gardeners are very fond of ornamental grasses here, and use them to great effect.
And I rather like this plant, though I have no idea what it is. Help, Readers!
My friend S and I both though that this topiary looked like a duck with its head under its wing…
…..though not from the other side.
And look, a swamp cypress. Not quite as magnificent as *my* swamp cypress in St Pancras and Islington Cemetery, but very fine nonetheless.
And then it’s off for a trot along the plane tree avenue…
And then past the hydrangeas. I had no idea that you could get a scarlet variety, but here it is.
And here’s a more traditional variety. Hydrangeas are not my favourites (apart from my splendid climbing hydrangea of course) but they do have a very long season, and are one of the few plants that look impressive even when the flowers are dead.
But what on earth is this? The leaves on this plant are so interesting, and I love the way that it seems to unfold like a fan. If you know what it is give me a shout, gentle readers. UPDATE:I am mega-embarrassed about this as I’ve actually done a Wednesday Weed about this plant – Melianthus major, the Giant Honey Flower. Thanks to Fran and Bobby Freelove, Anne and Sophie for reminding me about it!.
So I am still in love with these gardens, even at the turning of the year. It would almost be worth becoming a lawyer just to have unlimited access. Note that I say ‘almost’ because I am not of a combative nature, and I suspect that that’s a prerequisite, though I guess it depends what part of the law you specialise in. And as I leave, I notice that the steps to the outside world are tumbling with Mexican fleabane, and embedded with wildflowers, as if insistent that our last memories of this special place should be of the potency of nature, which obeys laws of its own.