I’m not an expert on flowers, gardens, and landscaping but I enjoy them immensely. I tend to gravitate towards the informal butterfly gardens and the vegetable plots that could be described as having “artful disarray”. Regents Park in the northern part of London could make anyone a convert to formal landscaping. The lawn is a green matte of perfectly trimmed grass, each plot is carefully color coordinated, and blooms seem to be eternally youthful. There are fountains, statues, and paths that wind around idyllic ponds supporting happy ducks and at least one enormous Koi. Be careful about sitting in the inviting cloth folding chairs – they cost money. Park benches are plentiful and free so that is a suitable option. I tried out a few, but couldn’t stay for long since we were traveling around as a group and still needed to visit Primrose Hill for kite flying and Abbey Road for some street crossing. There was a lot of ground to cross, since Regents park covers approximately 490 acres. We can thank Henry VIII that all that land is available for walking on. He kept it clear from development so he could go hunting there.
I have wonderful memories of the rose gardens in Regents Park from 20 years ago. I must have spent hours there soaking up the fragrance. It still impacts me the same way. As one of my classmates said, I just want to “roll around in all those roses and absorb the scent”. Purely a fantastical idea since it would hurt a lot. Each individual bloom is incredible and I took pictures of far too many. I would love to take my daughter there and find out what her favorite color rose is. I would love to walk around the park with my husband and remember the orange roses of our wedding. I know my son would love to climb on the incredible trees and watch boys play the strange game of Cricket. My life has changed a lot since I was last here. One of the first thoughts I had upon entering the rose garden was of a woman who’s son I had known for 1.5 years before leaving for London in 1992. She thought of both of us when she was in Regents Park and took pictures of orange roses while there. I could almost picture her as I walked around. She was my mother-in-law for about five years before she passed away. Remembering her today amongst the roses was loveliness with a touch of sadness.