Gingerly ventured to Oxford Street this Sunday… I am officially the world’s worst shopper which explains why I have been wearing the same clothes for the past 10 years (note to self: the maternity tops are inexcusable – my son is 3 and a half…).
No trip to the West End is possible without going to John Lewis, which reduces me to rabbit-in-the-headlight status due to the sheer amount of amazing items of furniture and soft furnishings (forget clothes). This weekend it was doubly rewarding. As I was on my way down from the cafe, I noticed a little sign saying ‘Roof garden – open’. Feeling slightly Alice-esque I followed the signs round and up and still further up, past staff waving and smiling me onward, until up a last little flight of steps I found myself stepping on to a green and verdant lawn with the sun beating down on me. Admittedly it was a verdant astro turf lawn but good astro turf. And what’s more, there were others there: some lounging in rather lovely John Lewis deck chairs, some strolling under the sky with cups of tea, others trailing their fingers along the living green wall.
John Lewis is 150 years old this year and to celebrate they have got the charming-looking and ridiculously young Tony Woods to design a special roof garden for them. Mr Woods was the RHS Young Garden Designer of the Year 2013 for his ‘Escape to the City’ urban garden. The planting is simple but effective, with lilac scabious, purple alliums, fleshy sedums, erigeron daisies and the ever-lasting erysimum, interlacing with grasses, rosemary, box hedging, olive trees and birch. There was something quite special about viewing the London Eye through the crossed stems of the tall alliums and peering at the buses below past the mauve wall flowers. The bees were very happy. As was I.
The garden is open daily from 10 am ( Sunday 11.30 am) – 4 pm. I thoroughly recommend taking time out from the tumult of Central London.