Hidden London, Red Cross Gardens, SE1

We all get super excited about traveling, visiting new countries and places but as I've found over the last few weeks, living in London again (albeit temporarily), there are often some surprising hidden treasures on our doorsteps!

A case in point is this delightful little pocket of a park that I discovered last week.  Before de-camping to France 4 years ago I had been living in the Bermondsey / Borough area of south London for just over 4 years and had NOT come across this perfect little space.

The Red Cross Garden, London, SE1, August 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
After the demise of a paper factory the garden was originally laid out in 1888 by Octavia Hill (a founder of the National Trust, an organisation which is still going strong to this day in the UK).  The garden was described as 'an open air sitting-room' for the people of London.

In 2005 the garden was refurbished and today an impressive panoply of plants and a chattering little fountain and pond sit neatly in front of Red Cross Hall and these teeny tiny cottages by the architect Elijah Hoole (constructed in 1902).

No. 5 Red Cross Cottages, London SE1, August 2012, Cari-Jane Hakes
I obviously saw the park at its very very best.  In full summer bloom I adore the way you can often photograph a big portion of a plants life cycle, from flower to seed pod, in one shot.

Teeny Tiny Twisted Seed Pods, Cari-Jane Hakes
Elsewhere I caught this frame of a downy flocked leafy plant - I don't know its correct name, other than it is rather fabulous with its curious frost covered looking fluff!

Summer Frost, Cari-Jane Hakes, August 2012
And finally, perfect hydrangeas, everywhere!  Regular Hybrid Handmaders will already know that this gorgeous bunch made it all the way onto the August desktop calendar (which you can find here).

Perfect Peachy Hydrangeas, Cari-Jane Hakes, August 2012
If you happen to be London or would like to find this garden on a future adventure, follow this link and scroll down to the third installment - click on the street map link and it will tell you where this hidden treasure lies.

One of these photographs will become my day 6 photo for the Mecantile Muse's Photo Challenge that will be published tomorrow.  You can check out our progress here.