This year, for the first time, Covent Garden is set to bloom again at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show as they celebrate the area’s rich horticultural heritage with their breath-taking garden design ‘500 Years of Covent Garden’ by award-winning garden designer Lee Bestell.
The central feature will include a mature, 60 year-old apple tree, harking back not only to the early beginnings of ‘Convent Garden’ as an orchard, belonging to and supplying the monk’s table at Westminster Abbey, but also to the 300 year-old provenance of the neighbourhood as a fruit and flower market. Flowering herbaceous plants will reflect the colours of apple blossom and large steel structures will reflect the distinctive arches of Covent Garden’s Grade II listed Market Building. Reclaimed cobble pathways will guide visitors into the centre of the garden, just as the surrounding streets do into Covent Garden’s Piazza. A central seating area provides a place to sit and relax, inspired by the social and modern dining environment of the Piazza.
The garden at Chelsea is sponsored by Capco, the landowner and steward of Covent Garden, in partnership with the Sir Simon Milton Foundation.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The fruit, vegetable and flower market residing in Covent Garden closed down on 9 November 1974 and the following morning the Piazza was eerily quiet, the hustle and bustle of traders was no more, all that was left of the market were a few discarded boxes and signs.
In the weeks before the move local photographer Nigel Dicker made it his mission to document the essence of the market in Covent Garden and overleaf we share some of his images of a bygone age.
Covent Garden Pictures
St Paul’s is the parish church for Covent Garden, affectionately known as The Actors’ Church, because of its long association with the theatre community. Built by Inigo Jones in 1633, it has a beautiful churchyard garden, a flower-filled pocket of calm in our busy city.
Now the church is teaming up with experienced bespoke party planner Randolphs to offer a full event- planning service in the gardens. Randolphs are experts at creating unforgettable, beautifully executed private parties and events, using their reassuring experience, coupled with imagination and a touch of stardust, nothing is impossible. They pride themselves on meticulous planning, faultless service, top chefs, stylish food and drink, as well as magical entertainment. So whether you are looking for a canapé reception, seated lunch or dinner, buffet with food stalls or a family day with BBQ Randolphs would love to speak to you about holding your party in this rare outdoor event space, a hidden gem in the heart of Covent Garden.
Randolphs at St Paul’s Church
In more floral news, City Cruises are bringing flower power to the Thames, with the new and exclusive ‘Floating Gardens of Westminster’.
A City Cruises sightseeing boat will be transformed into a floating paradise with hundreds of thousands of fresh roses adorning the ship’s exterior. Turf will be laid on the inner and outer decks creating a typical English countryside garden and the top deck will burst into bloom with a rose-lined pathway and three-tier water feature creating the garden’s coolest hotspot, all with unparalleled views of London’s skyline making it a truly unique Thames experience.
During the one and a half hour round trip cruise guests can indulge themselves with unlimited bubbles and delicious canapés. A DJ will bring the party to life with a live set and there will be floral goody bags for guests to take home. The round trip tour departs from Westminster Pier on 25, 26, 27 May at 12.00, 14.30, 17.00 and 19.30 and costs £125 each.