One of my favourite things about London are the parks. Those in the suburbs tend to be more wild, whilst those in the centre – perfect and tidy, with flower beds, pavements and fences. One of my favourite parks in central London is St James’s Park. Located just opposite the Buckingham Palace, it truly looks like a royal park – beautiful, organised and tidy. Full of colourful flowers and amazing wildlife.
The majority of the park’s area is covered by a big, long pond. Going around it is a pavement, and behind that – flower beds and trees. It’s a weirdly peaceful and green place, for a city centre. As peaceful as a place crowded with tourists day and night can be, that is. If it wasn’t for the crowds, you could easily forget that you’re in the middle of a huge metropolis. (Anyone can spot the squirrel?)
I love the palm trees and other tropical-looking plants in London. Sometimes, walking through the city, I get an impression that every other person owning a patch of grass decides to plant some palm trees and make an illusion of living in a climate more tropical than it actually is. I don’t blame them though, if I ever have a garden in a climate where palm trees can survive the winter, I’ll probably get one myself!
This photo was taken in early March, when all of the London parks were full of daffodils. A pretty sight for the end of winter.
The wildlife in London parks always amazes me. There are hundreds of geese of different species, if not more. Walking around the park amongst the tourists, fearless, taking advantage of every piece of food they can scavenge. It could be a good symbiosis, but the geese themselves aren’t wise enough to know what is and isn’t good for them, and many humans tend to forget that knowledge too. Animals in city parks are usually half-domesticated, tamed and used to living alongside humans, and I’m not against feeding them, as long as you don’t offer things that they clearly shouldn’t eat. I’ve seen two teenage girls feed a goose a sweet muffin and the poor bird ate it all, with the paper case. Not a great thing to do!
Apart from geese, there are also your other typical park pond creatures – ducks, swans and seagulls.
There are also some less common birds, herons and pelicans, I believe.
On one end of the pond, there’s a small house – probably an old gardener’s house? Surrounded by a mini garden full of peculiar flowers and other plants.
One of the most surprising facts that I learnt after I moved to London was that parks here are full of green parrots. I’m pretty sure a few decades ago escaped or released pets started this colony. They’re an invasive species and probably detrimental to the native ecosystem, but… they’re also incredibly cute! Very different to the usual brown and grey native birds of our climate. The parrots here seem to have a great sight and can spot monkey nuts as soon as you hold one up. Being able to interact with one made not just my day, but a whole week!
I really love the parks in London, in summer – and even in winter, if it’s dry and not too freezing cold – I spend a big part of my weekends just walking without a purpose. It’s great for focusing the mind, relaxing, and that’s where most of my creative ideas are born.
Check out my other UK adventures!