These are the values Octavia Hill demonstrated in the Red Cross Garden which she set up in 1887. She aimed to bring beauty and fresh air for the "tired inhabitants of Southwark" and I don't expect she thought that it would continue today, but it does. Nestled in Redcross Way - where else? - this beautiful garden still provides a welcome green space for families, workers and visitors alike.
The garden is maintained by a small group of volunteers, trustees and staff as part of the Bankside One Spaces Trust. Local people too have helped restore the Red Cross Garden to its Victorian glory and I for one was glad they have as it was a regular lunchtime stop for me on my recent Jury Service. Being able to sit and eat my lunch in such pretty surroundings helped me through all the sitting around, this and my kindle!
The plants were typical of the ones you'd expect to find in a cottage garden. The deep burgundy hollyhocks were in full bloom and as you can see, the ones below leant in to be photographed!
In another part of the garden, there were grasses, a bridge and a beautiful pond.
All this floral loveliness was clearly rubbing off on me, and it seemed I started to dress to match my surroundings...
As with most gardens there were things to encourage insects, the plants too helping with that. And there was a rather more attractive compost bin than my own at home.
And does anyone else feel like they're being watched by the broken gravestone above? Hmm...
It's not a large space, but it is one that's packed full of interest, beautiful plants and lots of places to sit - which is always a bonus for anyone arriving with their sandwiches. And in the distance there's this fab view of The Shard. One day I will make it up there, I'm sure!
I was glad to discover this beautiful space, and along with my visit to the Tibetan Peace Garden at the Imperial War Museum, it reminded me that London really does have some wonderful green spaces!