The long highway of Victoria Street has to be one of the most second rate walking routes in the whole of the city. There is Westminster Cathedral – John Francis Bentley’s glorious late 19th reimagining of the Byzantine Hagia Sophia – and the far off prospect of the Abbey, but generally the street is concrete and glass shop fronts and office receptions; there is little architectural merit and even less to inspire or uplift.
But as you pass Westminster City Hall dive off the main drag down a walkway called Seaforth Place and (after navigating a small access road) you alight upon The Onion Garden, one of the absolute ‘hidden gems’ of Westminster.
It is the brainchild and passion of Jens Jakobsen, ‘The Danish Florist’, who has transformed an abandoned urban corner into a beautiful garden. This has recently expanded, and has now become a ‘Community Interest Company’ (basically a charitable company, one that exists for the community not for profit).
They’re on Instagram (you’ll find them here), and their bio says it all really “Bringing community and nature together. A welcoming space open to all for love and laughter, healing & wellbeing.”
There’s also a rather excellent coffee stall (and even wifi), making the garden the perfect spot for me to either take ten minutes to mentally prepare for a job, or a bit more time to decompress after one.
Victoria – London – is a better place for The Onion Garden, and we should give thanks to Jens and his volunteers for carving out this fantastic bit of rus in urbe.
In fact – give more than thanks. Here’s the fundraiser page for the Garden – bung them a tenner (or more) to show that you support one of the great little gardens of London.