It’s that time of year again- the time when anyone with a penchant for purple and an eye for floral splendour takes to the streets of London in search of wisteria.
The lilac blossoms are swinging from hedgerows and bluebells have pushed their way up through the tough spring soil, but it’s the wisteria adorning the pastel houses that is the focus of London’s bloggers and photographers.
It only blooms for around three weeks a year, which is why there’s such a race to admire it, and why your media feeds are peppered with purple. It’s definitely one of the prettiest times in London.
Wisteria branches appear on nearly every street, but occasionally you might stumble upon a house with a fully covered façade that takes your breath away. They’re particularly amazing when you spot a little blue plaque that tells you it was once home to one of London’s famous residents: the ex-houses of Bram Stoker, George Orwell, and Frank Bridge are now soaked in sun whilst wisteria drapes over every window and door.
Throughout spring and summer, the most popular spots for flower-spotting are Chelsea, Kensington and Notting Hill. However, there are some little known spots in north London that are equally magnificent, that every flowery photograph enthusiast should visit.
Hopping off the tube at Kentish Town station, it only takes a minute’s walk to find yourself on Falkland Road, a colourful street just bursting with wisteria and rose bushes. Dusty London roads are transformed into quaint fairyland.
Wind your way further between the myriad houses and you’ll find more little gems. White wisteria drips like melting candles down green foliage covered walls, and you’ll find yourself completely dazzled by the multitude of purple-showered doors.
It’s hard to pinpoint the best spots. In fact, I think it’s better to simply take a day and go wandering. Don’t look for it; it’ll appear wherever you go. It’s actually a lot more exciting when you stumble upon wisteria spots, rather than setting out to find a particular house.
Be sure to take a good camera, and definitely stop by one of my favourite cafes or bars. I recommend the Ivy Chelsea Garden for an afternoon cocktail, the Builder’s Arms in Kensington for quick pint, or one of the quirky, organic cafes in north London for an energy boost.
Happy wisteria wandering!