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Summer At Arnold Circus

July 29, 2016
by the gentle author

At this time of year, the canopy of trees over-arching Arnold Circus is an awe inspiring sight to behold, as if a forest clearing had been magically transported and placed at the centre of a maze of city streets. From within the tiny park you see the towering red brick mansion blocks framed by trees, imparting an atmosphere of lyrical romance entirely in tune with the Arts & Crafts ethos of Britain’s first Council Estate.

Yet, if you wander further within the Estate, you come upon satellite gardens contrived by the residents using old baths, canes and twigs as a means to create temporary vegetable plots among the yards between the buildings. The idiosyncratic forms of these curious contraptions hung with glinting things offer a sympathetic complement to the regularity of the architecture and it makes your heart leap to see cherished home grown vegetables nurtured so tenderly in unexpected circumstances.

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Winter Light at Arnold Circus

8 Responses leave one →
  1. July 29, 2016

    It all looks really good, glad Arnold Circus has not been swept away and modernised, and love the little ‘gardens’ everywhere. Valerie

  2. July 29, 2016

    I find Arnold Circus poignant, knowing that the bricks and filth of the Jago lie beneath. Somehow, using the past to construct a hopeful future is such a respectful gesture. And the gardens are truly beautiful, especially the guerrilla element. I expect there is a metaphor in there somewhere.

  3. July 29, 2016

    A truly peaceful oasis. Historical and socially valuable. A special place that’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

  4. Helen Breen permalink
    July 29, 2016

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, thanks for yet another tidbit about pockets of London life. I love the hollyhocks…

  5. July 29, 2016

    Real Enchanted Places in the City …

    Love & Peace

  6. Belinda Naylor permalink
    July 29, 2016

    One of my favourite spots in London. A little oasis of calm and you’re never too far from a good sandwich and a coffee.

  7. pauline taylor permalink
    July 29, 2016

    Hollyhocks are wonderful everywhere this year, they are lovely cottage garden flowers and I am fortunate to look out of my window in my shop at the beautiful hollyhocks just outside in front of a Tudor mansion .I am so lucky to be in an oasis in the middle of our busy town so I can really appreciate just what an oasis Arnold Circus is. A customer from Holland told me that hollyhocks are called stockrosen in Dutch (or German?), roses on a stick, which seems very appropriate. Good luck to all these people trying to grow their own vegetables, they are to be congratulated for making so much effort in what must be very difficult circumstances, I admire them!

  8. Ros permalink
    July 29, 2016

    Had to smile at the opportunistic squirrel making a couple of appearances – not sure that the hard-working growers of the vegetables would be smiling along with me. Lovely post of a lovely place.

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