The Garden Guide

Gardens can and should have a key role in London planning, for the following reasons

  • London has the better claim than any other city to being ‘the world’s garden capital’, as Los Angeles is the ‘movie capital’ and Milan the ‘design capital’ and Paris the ‘fashion capital’. It has more garden-mad people/hectare than anywhere else on earth.
  • London, as described by Steen Eiler Rasmussen (1898–1990) is The unique city (1937) because gardens and parks have such an important place in the city’s history and structure.
  • Gardens are the crucibles of city planning: in gardens, you can experiment with spatial ideas in a way that is rarely possible in cities: that is why the renaissance, baroque and neoclassical approach to city planning all originated in gardens.
  • London is now being re-developed as a city of apartment blocks. This is a tragedy – so we should cherish every square millimetre of garden space provided by our forebears.

central london parks

London has been a city of parks at least since the Middle Ages