Thursday, April 30, 2020

A Detailed Post on Where to Find Wisteria Blooms in Battersea

Spring in London follows a fairly consistent pattern: snowdrops, crocus, magnolia trees, cherry blossoms and then the vibrant, purple wisteria vines.

While you’ll often find older wisteria vines climbing up fancy Victorian houses in posh areas such as Chelsea, Kensington, Holland Park and Hampstead Heath, I’ve found plenty of lovely wisteria in my own neighborhood of Battersea. Wisteria in London usually blooms during April and part of May.

Living here for nearly four years means I’ve seen the seasons change and have found plenty of opportunities to walk or cycle around – even under Covid19 lockdown conditions. I took most of these photos over the last two years, but a few I took during the past month. Keeping mainly safe at home means I’m also pining for sunny days when I used to cycle around the city and the English countryside. Hence, my desire to peruse old photos and write a new post on my nearly forgotten blog. 

I miss other things in life that used to be more consistent – like going to work, finding flour, going to the pub. Sigh, but such is life.

Anyways, perusing through my photo archives unearthed these wisteria photos for you. Enjoy!

Battersea Park
Battersea is a mix of architecture. During the late 1800s, many factories were set up along the Thames and near the railway, so housing estates – containing numerous small rowhouses – were built for workers. You’ll still find many of these old rowhouses west of Battersea Park and south of the main railway lines, running east to west. 
Wisteria on Battersea Bridge Road
Wisteria often grows over doorways like in these photos near Battersea Park.

Interestingly, many of the two-storied rowhouses along and surrounding Eversleigh Road have plaques dating to 1873 and 1874 on the facades.
Now, it’s not all cute rowhouses in Battersea. Post-World War II, a large part of this area was swept away in a vast municipal re-building plan. Ugly public housing estates and high-rises were built once the heavily bombed debris was cleared away. And then, there are the more modern, concrete high-rises built in recent years that also lack any botanical life.

But, there are still plenty of streets that I enjoy passing by in Battersea.

Clapham Common
As I cycled closer to Clapham Common, I found larger, more stately-looking Victorian houses. Most of the houses along Clapham Common North Side are swathed in gorgeous wisteria vines. Also, feel free to take a wander along Orlando Road, Macaulay Road, The Chase and Victoria Rise. Technically, most of Clapham falls in the Lambeth borough, but it’s not too far away.
One of my fav photos: pink on purple located on Oralndo Road in Clapham.
English Architect Sir Charles Barry, best known for his role in designing the Houses of Parliament during the mid-19th century, lived at The Elms, 29-32 Clapham Common North Side. The building is currently used as part of the Royal Trinity Hospice.

Wandsworth Common
Then west of Clapham Common towards Wandsworth Common, you’ll find another style of architecture. Most of these Victorian houses are three-stories tall and free-standing, meaning not attached to the neighboring houses like the rowhouses. Obviously, there is more money in this part of the neighborhood, with the stretch of Northcote Road nicknamed “Nappy Valley” for the “yummy mummies” that patrol the area with their prams.
Still, this is a nice area to cycle or walk through. Sometimes, I’ll cycle down own street and then make a loop onto the next street so I can take photographs in the neighborhood. You’ll find quite a few houses along Bolingbroke Grove that are covered with wisteria vines as well as some houses just south of Wandsworth Common.
Sigh…Flowers keep on giving no matter what is happening in the world!

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