Welcome to magnolia season in London. As the flowering gets underway this month, photographer Britt Willoughby Dyer takes us for a walk on one of her favorite city streets to see a showy display of white, velvety blossoms. “I was amazed at the display, wandering along St Leonard’s Terrace one springtime,” says Britt. “I loved the sculptural quality of the huge fleshy petals and the blossom was incredible.”
Let’s go for a walk with Britt (and see how to get there on your own on the map below):
Photography by Britt Willoughby Dyer.
Above: “I took these one Sunday morning when I took a walk from my flat which was on the river between Battersea and the Albert Bridge in London, where some small magnolias were planted as part of the landscaping scheme for the Albion Riverside buildings,” says Britt.
Above: I then walked across the Albert Bridge across to Chelsea and along St Leonard’s Terrace, where there are some beautiful houses with some delightful old trees, wisteria and blossoming trees,” says Britt.
Above: Magnolia trees have furry buds that garden writer Sarah Raven says look “like furry mice sitting on the branches” before they bloom.
Above: A flower unfurls.
Above: “When you find yourself walking along the wonderful King’s Road (fabulous shopping), just deviate off the beaten track and wander down to St. Leonard’s Terrace, where you will see the most beautiful spring sight,” says Britt.
Above: “London is so lucky to have these green spaces that at least give you a taste of nature at her best,” says Britt.
Above: There are more than 200 different species of magnolia—do you have a favorite?
Above: This view of petals on the verge of unfurling feels very intimate, doesn’t it? I could look at Britt’s photos all day.
Where to Go
Above: See Britt’s magnolias for yourself on St Leonard’s Terrace. Location via Google Maps.
Would you like to grow your own magnolia tree? For a list of our favorite species and tips on how to grow them, see Magnolia Trees: A Field Guide in our curated design guides to Trees 101. For more of Britt Willoughby Dyer’s favorite flowers, see Garden Visit: The Tulips of Hawthorn Cottage and Garden Visit: Bluebells and Wild Garlic in Standish Wood.