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Cherry Blossom in Greenwich Park
Photograph: @elkmb

23 places to see spring flowers in London

Get your floral fix with these blossoming beauties

Isabelle Aron
Written by
Isabelle Aron

Spring in London almost makes the miseries of winter feel worthwhile. From late January onwards, the streets burst into bloom. First come snowdrops and crocuses, with their tiny flowers that emerge from the muddy grass. In February, a few trees start to blossom. But March is when the real joys come, with crowds of yellow daffodils appearing in parks, and cherry trees scattering pavements with pink petals. By April, the first tulips and hyacinths are springing out of the ground to join them, too.

From London's bright pink cherry blossoms to the seas of lavender that swell in summer, take a look at our list of the best places to see flowers in London. Then (once it's allowed) why not head to one of the city's best pub gardens to go through all your almost identical flower photos?

RECOMMENDED: Here are the best places to see cherry blossom in London

Where to see spring flowers and flower gardens in London

Photograph: John Fielding

1. Camellias

Where? Chiswick House, Kenwood Garden, Isabella Plantation (Richmond Park).

When? February-April.

Flowery fact Chiswick House is home to one of the world’s rarest varieties of camellias, the deep pink  ‘Middlemist’s Red’. It was brought back from China in 1804 by Londoner John Middlemist and the only other known plant of this kind is in Waitangi, New Zealand. Hopping on a train to west London doesn’t seem like quite so much of a trek now, does it?

Image: Chiswick House, John Fielding

Cherry blossom
Photograph: Shadman Chowdhury

2. Cherry blossom

Where? Greenwich Park, St Paul’s Cathedral, Kew Gardens.

When? March-April. 

Flowery fact In Japan, cherry blossom is thought of as the unofficial national flower. They call it ‘sakura’, which is also the word for ‘raw horsemeat’. No prizes for guessing which will get you more likes on Instagram.

Image: Greenwich Park, @shadz_ig 

Photograph: @loucamera

3. Bluebells

Where? Osterley Park (Hounslow), Highgate Wood, Wanstead Flats.

When? Mid April-May.

Flowery fact Bluebells are a protected species, so don’t be tempted to pick them and take them home. What would Sir David Attenborough think?

Image: Osterley Park, @loucamera

Photograph: @rodwey2004

4. Daffodils

Where? Green Park, Hampton Court Palace, St James’s Park.

When? March-April.

Flowery fact Green Park is a sea of yellow in spring, with 1 million daffodils in bloom – but that’s the only time you’ll see flowers there. The park has no formal flower beds – rumour has it that’s because King Charles II’s wife had them removed after she caught him picking flowers there for another woman. Busted.

Image: St James’s Park, @rodwey2004

Photograph: RBG Kew

5. Crocuses

Where? Kew Gardens, Cannizaro Park (Wimbledon), Battersea Park.

When? March-early April.

Flowery fact Kew’s impressive ‘crocus carpet’ makes up just part of the whopping 5 million bulbs planted in the gardens. In total, it’s the biggest spring flower display in the country. Who needs the countryside?

Image: Kew Gardens, RBG Kew 

Photograph: @misskizzylew

6. Wisteria

Where? Peckham Rye Park, Hampstead Heath Pergola, Holland Park.

When? April-June.

Flowery fact Built in the 1900s, the Hampstead Heath Pergola is as long as 1 Canada Square at Canary Wharf is tall. In spring, it’s even more impressive, as it gets covered with Parma Violet-coloured, sweet-smelling wisteria. Cop a whiff of that!

Image: Peckham Rye Park, @misskizzylew

Photograph: @piccoloexplorer

7. Tulips

Where? Buckingham Palace Memorial Gardens, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens.

When? March-May.

Flowery fact Created in honour of Queen Victoria, the Memorial Garden outside Buckingham Palace is filled with around 50,000 yellow wallflowers and red tulips. Replanting takes up to ten staff around two weeks. That’s a lot of bad backs. 

Image: Buckingham Palace, @piccoloexplorer

Photograph: Shereagh Dunphy

8. Azaleas

Where? Isabella Plantation, Kenwood House.

When? April-May.

Flowery fact Hidden away in Richmond Park, Isabella Plantation is home to 100 different varieties of azaleas – but it hasn’t always been a flowery haven. Back in the seventeenth century, it was known as The Sleyt, which meant ‘boggy ground’. Doesn’t sound quite as aesthetically delightful.

Image: Isabella Plantation, Shereagh Dunphy

Photograph: Mayfield Lavender

9. Lavender

Where? Mayfield Lavender Farm (north Surrey), Vauxhall Park, Kennington Park.

When? July-August.

Flowery fact You might associate lavender with sunny Provence, but you don’t need to cross the Channel to see rolling, perfumed fields of the stuff. Mayfield Lavender planted its gorgeous purple fields in 2010 to revive the historic lavender industry, which boomed here in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Entry costs just £2 per adult. Close your eyes and you might almost feel like you’re in France. Almost.

Image: Mayfield Lavender

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