Tuesday brought the first sunshine after several days of dreary rain and I could not resist taking a break from my research at the British Library to wander about under blue skies. I started out at Green Park and continued on through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens to Holland Park, enjoying the bright light and the first little signs of spring, despite the frosty temperatures.
A Patrick Blanc vertical garden in Mayfair
Delicate camellias in bloom in Hyde Park
A fancy double hellebore
Tree fern lushness provided by Dicksonia antarctica
Royal formality in Kensington Gardens
View towards what remains of Holland House in Holland Park
Surprising walls of tiles
A particularly floriferous Viburnum x bodnantense
Gorse (Ulex europaeus) golden in the sunshine
In the Kyoto Garden
Higan cherry (Prunus x subhirtella 'Autumnalis')
Apart from the greenery and precocious blooms, I was also quite taken with the animals throughout these parks. From waterfowl like swans and geese to wood pigeons, peacocks, and ringneck parakeets, these parks are teeming with birds, most of them decidedly tamer and less wary of people than usual because of how frequently feed them. The same is true of the squirrels, which, while adorable, appear to all be American Eastern gray squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis), an invasive species here that displaces the native European red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).