Hedges at the Thames Barrier Park

Last Sunday morning we set out on a bike ride heading under the Thames through the Greenwich foot tunnel; our plan was to cycle along the Thames Path on the north side of the river before crossing the river again using the Woolwich foot tunnel and heading home. You're probably wondering how this relates to my usual Thursday garden-related post. Well, our cycle turned into quite an adventure with many discoveries (which I'll share more of over the next few days) including some fantastic hedges in the Thames Barrier Park, which we'd not visited before.

And it's so close to home, that it's embarrassing that we'd not been before. Although in my defence I'm a South London girl and I didn't know about the hedges...

So after emerging from the Greenwich foot tunnel and cycling to Trinity Buoy Wharf we were adopted by a group of cyclists who were heading the same way as us. As we were exploring and they knew the way we willingly tagged along as they led the way to the Thames Barrier Park. As we cycled into the park through the huge yew hedges I got a glimpse of what was to follow.

 HOW TALL IS YOUR YEW?

HOW TALL IS YOUR YEW?

Reaching the end of the ramp we double-backed on ourselves and got a view of the sunken garden and its waves of hedges. Wow. Just Wow. And you know how much I like hedges! I was in my element, I was also getting quite good at using my camera on the move too...

In the end though I stopped and took more pictures. I couldn't let these hedges pass me by without capturing them properly.   

The Thames Barrier park opened in 2000 and was the first new park built in London for 50 years.  That sunken garden with the hedges that we cycled through, provides a sheltered microclimate and as I thought the hedges represent waves. What I didn't know until later was that they're in an old lock entrance to the docks. I love things like this.

They look great in black and white too, and in the distance you can just see the Thames Barrier too.

Our adopted group of cyclists headed for refreshments in the cafe, but as we'd already stopped for breakfast we said our thank-yous and goodbyes and headed towards the river for a look at the Thames Barrier, which incidentally had been shut the day before. We normally see the barrier from the south side, so it made a change for us to get a different perspective on it.

Before we left to search for the entrance to the Woolwich foot tunnel I looked over the edge into the river and spotted some lichen on the piling, and I was struck by how simple but how beautiful it was.  

So there you go, I discovered some fantastic hedges almost a stone's throw from home... well, if you have a very good throw anyway. How lucky am I?