Flowers in the City

Atlanta Botanical GardenWe went to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and were dumbfounded to find signs marking the corporate sponsorships of the floral arrangements.

Flowers in London just seemed to appear, without any explanation of who put them there.

The Botanical Garden here was nowhere near as sprawling as Kew Gardens. That’s almost a city unto itself, with a massive lake and forest-sized greenhouses filled with orchids and other exotic plants. It’s also a hike from Central London, while Atlanta’s equivalent is quite central.

London’s got the handle on the urban-floral mix. Regent’s Park, just north of Central London, has a massive rose garden.

Holland Park, west of Central London, has a japanese garden, with a charming bridge over a little pond, flanked by brightly colored blossoms. You could always spot hip “yummy mummies,” or nannies to the rich and famous (my friend ran into a woman who claimed to be Claudia Schiffer’s nanny) pushing their strollers there.

Kensington GardensAnd also just west of the center of town, there’s Hyde Park, my personal favorite, which offers Kensington Gardens.

Just outside Kensington Palace, Princess Diana’s former home, it’s an enclave of neatly manicured hedges and walkways that make you feel like you’re in an English period drama (if you ignore the scores of tourists with recording equipment).

And of course, you can find lots of flowers — without corporate sponsors.

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