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A trip to Kensington Roof Gardens, and a surprise!


By peter


So my blog is a bit late, but Monday was my first meet up with someone from Grows on You!! It’s been great to see other members meeting up in real life after ‘meeting’ on the site so I was excited when David wrote to see if we could meet up during his family visit to London.

We agreed to meet somewhere gardening related and since David had missed the Kensington Roof Gardens on his last couple of visits we thought it would be great to eat there and then take in the roof gardens afterwards (they’re the ones that have the flamingoes).

Well, the views from the restaurant were spectacular and lunch was excellent. We decided that 3 courses was the way to go – and after a brief moments thought (how long does it take to think ‘yes’) we agreed a nice glass of wine is an important part of enjoying a garden. When my starter arrived I couldn’t believe it was garnished with nasturtiums!! Both of us had a good chuckle at the dismay this might cause in certain GoY quarters and I had to take a photo :o)
A nasturtium garnish!

Over lunch David assured me that in the great veggies vs. flowers debate he is definitely a veggie grower and gave the same reason that I do – we both find it more satisfying. It was really interesting to hear more about Davids wonderful Wizard of Oz garden, and I explained my latest dilemma about what to plant (I haven’t forgotten, dont worry). David said that along with the normal constraints of sunlight, soil etc… having a theme really helped focus what plants he added to his garden – something Grenville recommended too. I also got to hear his fabulous plans for what next!! I’m not sure if they’re secret so I won’t spill the beans yet :o)

While we both finished with cheesecake, staff cut fresh herbs from baskets on the balcony for use in the kitchen.

After lunch we took a walk around the gardens both armed with cameras. I’m not sure if I’m spoilt with all the fabulous photos on GOY but we both agreed that the gardens were a bit of a let down, despite the flamingoes.

Flamingoes at Kensington Roof Gardens

There’s meant to be a Tudor, a Spanish and a Woodland area as part of the roof gardens. Although the gardens were clearly divided in to areas they could have done (at least for me) with a few bits of signage, and we were convinced that there was a Japanese feel to parts of the garden.
A Japanese theme?

There was lots and lots of ivy which made the gardens green but didn’t really add much structure or excitement; see, I do listen :o) We thought that maybe because the gardens’ main purpose is as a venue there are pressures to look reasonable all year round, but never fantastic? David also noted (though I would never have known) that a lot of the flowers in the Spanish area were native English flowers.

The Spanish garden

On the walk back to my tube stop we met David’s family and I got to say hi to the inspiration behind the Oz themed garden. Just time for one last photo before we said farewell after a great afternoon :o)

David and me

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That's GREAT! I bet you never stopped talking! How did it feel to get to know a real person instead of a virtual one, Peter?

7 Aug, 2008


It was very exciting, and the time flew by. It was bit strange to meet up after chatting on the site first. I felt a bit like I was meeting an old friend and a bit like I was meeting complete stranger. I think more old friend, but definitely bits of both. How about when you and Grenville met up, Spritz?

7 Aug, 2008


One Question Peter.
Where did you order the weather from?

7 Aug, 2008


great blog peter, i was thinking the same as Kev, the weather looked like it was good for your day out. sounds like ye both had a great day.

7 Aug, 2008


Hey Peter its so nice you met up with David he's a lovely guy , I will however be having a word with him about not wearing his GOY shirt !! tut tut !

7 Aug, 2008


his GOY shirt?? tell me more Weemamabell lol

7 Aug, 2008


We were (kind of) lucky with the weather. We managed to sit outside for lunch but it did rain quite heavily while we were eating - it also got pretty windy up on the 6th floor! The parasols they had did a pretty good job of keeping us dry and it cleared for the trip round the gardens. Yes Weemama, it was really nice chatting to David and meeting face to face. I don't think the shirt made it on the holiday packing list :o)

7 Aug, 2008


Weather should be ordered from the Met Ofiice, Sowton, Exeter. It used to be here in Bracknell but moved about five years ago as they needed a larger site. Now you know why the weather has never been right since then.
At least we don't get the weather they were testing for the rest of the country here any more

7 Aug, 2008


Hi Peter.
You obvously had a great time and the lunch looks delicious!. So pleased to hear your meeting was so successful.

The gardens look interesting, and your photos are lovely.

When Spritz and both Alan and myself met for the first time I think it would be fair to say that there was an 'instant rapport,' and we all got along so well. It's also probably something to do with the fact that we were both former Primary Headteachers as well, but Alan was fully included in all the conversations, and, of couse, he was invited to photograph Spritz's garden afterwards, so he exercised his skills as a photographer.
We both keep in touch on this site and regularly speak on the phone, and we have met again since our initial meet. So a real friendship has developed..... all due to G.O.Y!

7 Aug, 2008


Great day Peter. Its great to see so many real friendships starting through this site- a friendlier bunch you could not meet!

7 Aug, 2008


I was chatting to one of my neighbours at the Barbecue-in-a-tent on Sunday and she asked 'Who were those two men who were looking at your garden the other week? We could all hear you laughing your heads off!' Guess who THAT was - Grenville is right, we didn't stop laughing and talked our heads off at both meetings. We are planning the next visit now. Can't wait!

7 Aug, 2008


Yes, it was a great (and very quick) afternoon. We both thought of you, Spritz, when Peter's starter arrived with those nasturtium flowers on it, haha! Come to think of it, I don't remember seeing you eat them, Peter - did you? I left the shirt at home this time, Weemama, but I can assure you that I wear it lots, especially when going to garden shows, etc. As I said to Peter, it does attract quite a lot of scrutiny.

7 Aug, 2008


I definitely ate them - I don't think I could have left them even if I wanted to after talking about them on GOY :o)

7 Aug, 2008


Oh, yuk!

7 Aug, 2008

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