From here, past the British Museum, across Russell Square and through Queen Square to the lovely little courtyard garden tucked away behind the October Gallery on Old Gloucester Street and then, in complete contrast, the Phoenix Garden, the ‘best-kept secret of London’s West End’ according to the Open Garden Squares Weekend guidebook. Created by volunteers in 1984 in an old car park, this community garden hosts a range of wildlife (including the West End’s only frogs) in a profusion of flowering plants: an absolute delight. Now in its seventeenth year, the Open Garden Squares Weekend was originally intended to draw attention to the contribution that the green spaces made to the capital and the importance of their conservation. Last year saw a record 17,000 visitors, testament to the public recognition of the importance of these urban breathing spaces.
Pharmapoetica: a dispensary of poetry available from www.pedestrianpublishing.com
Janice Galloway: The Trick is to Keep Breathing (1989)