Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The English Roses

Let's not talk about the kids book by Madonna--let's talk instead about flowers.

Nestled in the center of London is Regent's Park, a royal park within walking distance of our flats. Originally Henry VIII's hunting grounds, the park was re-imagined as an ornamental park in the early 19th century. The park has facilities for sports and recreation, a cafe', and an open-air theater. One of the most spectacular attractions is Queen Mary's Gardens.

Queen Mary, the wife of George V (reign: 1910-1936, grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II), must have loved roses. Her namesake garden contains over 330 different types of roses, in addition to the national collection of delphiniums and 9,000 begonias. 

I might be inclined to be a bit snobbish about roses, considering that Portland's International Rose Test Gardens has 550 varieties, but the roses here SMELLED so good! They had names like Velvet Fragrance, Valencia, and Woods of Windsor.

Chick plays at being Thumbelina.

Regent's Park is also the site of the London Zoo, where Harry Potter first talks to a snake on Dudley's birthday. Nearby is Primrose Hill where Mary Poppins and the children flew kites. We did that, too.

It's hard to see here, but the skyline is very cool.

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