London in bloom is becoming one of my favourite times of year, not only does it signal the end of winter, it also makes the city so pretty. Each spring I seem to find something new, last year it was all about spotting magnolia trees weighed down by blossom in West London, this year it’s wisteria everywhere. Unlike spring blossom that creeps out from winter with different types popping up over a month or two, wisteria suddenly springs up and disappears within three or four weeks. (There’s nothing like something that might be hard to see to grab my attention!) It’s not a native plant to the UK, originating in eastern US, China and Japan but it has definitely made a home in London.
I had a weekend to myself whilst James was studying, I couldn’t quite track down an available friend and I didn’t have a lot of money left in the bank pre-pay day, so I decided to go on my own wisteria hunt. (I’m also trying to get some practice on manual mode with my new camera and thought it would be a perfect subject!) As #WisteriaHysteria hit, the hunt crept into the week and I still couldn’t get enough of it last weekend. So just in case it hasn’t disappeared already, I thought I’d share my favourite locations for your very own hunt.
Prepare yourself for purple overload!
The hunt started accidentally at Clapham Common after I’d hopped off the tube for a coffee at Fields Cafe and this purple-decked row of houses caught my eye. There were about three in a row but these two houses were my favourites.
Clapham was definitely just a taster of what I was yet to find when I reached central London. I’d read this post on A Lady in London and decided that Chelsea was the place to get started, so I just sort of made my way down from Sloane Square in the towards the Thames, hoping I’d stumble across some gems.
Wisteria has a very powerful scent and I am sure I could smell it before I saw it. Can you imagine how lovely it would be to step out of your doorstep to this sight and smell?
(I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what it would be like to live in London’s glorious homes!)
The next stop was Cheyne Place and this house disguised by clouds of purple flowers.
Cheyne Place led me to the infamous Cheyne Walk, possibly better known for its famous former residents than its wisteria but if you go anywhere then this has to be your first choice. Practically the whole row of houses was beautifully covered in colour.
Wisteria is a climbing plant that takes years to grow and even longer to flower. I imagined that they’d been blooming here for as long as these historic houses have stood near the river.
I love how it seems to naturally take over its surroundings.
But I’m sure there’s a lot more to growing them than I think.
West London neighbour, Kensington, was next on my list. I wandered in the direction of High Street Kensington, getting distracted by every vintage car I came across (more of a long term Instagram addiction of mine.)
I eventually reached Kynance Mews, one of London’s most instagrammed mews all year round. It just seems to suit every season and wisteria is no exception.
At this point I was heading towards Notting Hill to reach the tube home and came across Launceston Place. The wisteria looked particularly striking against a white-walled backdrop in the late afternoon sunshine.
I was feeling pretty tired once I’d reached Notting Hill so this was my final spot of the afternoon.
It’s near the bottom of Campden Hill Road.
You’re probably thinking by now that that really should have been enough. Well, it probably should have but I’m a sucker for Instagram finds and when I saw that there was a beauty down the road from the office I couldn’t resist heading there after work one evening.
You can find this front doorstep at Dorset Street, the end near Manchester Street.
Holland Park Gardens
Then we had an unexpectedly sunny Sunday this weekend and I still couldn’t resist heading to London’s most wisteria-dressed park, Holland Park.
I have no idea how I missed this part of the park when I first visited a few years ago!
The mixture of it being one of the capital’s calmer parks, the sunshine and the wisteria just made for the loveliest of afternoons.
I’m posting at a different time than I usually might so you can get out and see the wisteria for yourself before it’s all gone. With the lighter evenings, you could even squeeze it in after work. Quick! Go, go, go!
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Do you have a favourite place in London for seeing wisteria? Are there some beautiful wisteria sights where you live?