London’s Latest Green Places: From Bee Gardens to Floating Wetlands

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Spend a day exploring the congested arteries of central London and you may find it hard to believe that you are one of the 10 greenest capital cities in the world.

In fact, the capital is rich in parkland and garden squares, and the good news is that new plans and plants are being planted all the time, which greatly benefits both the environment and the population.

Here are some of my favorite new green interventions in the heart of the city to check out this summer.

Pollinator Path Maker at Hyde Park North Flower Walk, W2

Have you ever wondered how bees see the natural world? Entomologist and gardener Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg has developed an algorithm for planting from a bee’s point of view.

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg at the Back to Earth Project in Hyde Park

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You can see the results of this computerized tree planting at the show in Hyde Park as part of the Serpentine Galleries’ Back to Earth project. See how the garden was planned, and from a bee’s point of view, and create your own pollinator garden online.

Super Bloom in the Tower of London, EC3N

Inspired by American desert flowers, the Tower of London has turned the former moat around the tower into a biodiversity hotspot to celebrate its jubilee year.

Carefully designed planting layers, sown as 20 million seeds a few weeks ago, are just beginning to bloom, offering a colorful carpet full of nectar in late summer. Access to the site has been booked this year, but over time it will become London’s newest park.

Biodiversity hotspots around the Tower of London

/ Richard Lee Hair

Wetland Gardens floating on Royal Docks, E16

There is a newly installed floating garden in the northwest corner of Royal Docks near City Airport. It is planted with more than 30 species of native plants that grow along the banks of the Thames, providing a green haven for wetland wildlife in a deserted area.

This is a great opportunity to get up close and personal in nature and in the dock, as well as see the old industrial area from a new perspective.

Alfred Place Gardens on Tottenham Court Road, N1C

Once lined with cars parked in a quiet, notable back alley, Alfred Place has been transformed into the West End’s most modern pocket park. Located just off Goose Street between Chinese Street and Store Street, Gray Trim has been replaced by pockets of lawns, trees, wildlife plants and a children’s playground.

The clever incorporation of London’s airplane trees can fool you into thinking that the park has existed for years. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. Let’s get some more out of it.

West End’s latest pocket park

/ Daniel Humberi / Stella Pictures Ltd.

Jelico Gardens in Kings Cross, N1C

If you’ve been to Cole Drops Yard, you may have noticed a lot of new green spaces created around the King’s Cross development by some of the UK’s most prestigious garden design studios. Planting in these new places is very special. As you progress, you will find the latest addition to the garden, designed by Tom Stuart Smith.

Check out the special planting around Kings Cross, especially in the Jelico Gardens

/ John Stroke

Jelico Gardens, named after the influential architect and town planner Sir Jeffrey Jelico, and is located in the Aga Khan Center, is inspired by a classic Persian garden. Between the block planting and the shade of the trees, a quiet rail passes through the middle of the garden, providing a peaceful retreat away from the chaos on Euston Road.