Thursday, June 2, 2016

What Richard III has done for me - Leicester Cathedral

Or more precisely, Leicester cathedral gardens. I have mixed feelings about Leicestershire, on the whole I'd much rather live somewhere else, somewhere by the sea with a big sky and a dour aspect (so basically anywhere on the north east coast could have my name on it), but for all its many shortcomings I love the city - or at least my bit of it.

My flat is right next to the river (or at least the building is, my flat is on the side that overlooks a car park and university buildings, but never mind) with a park on the doorstep, hard by the castle (or at least what remains of the castle precincts). It's green and leafy, rich in wildlife (the park is full of squirrels and rats, the river full of swans and other less aggressive waterfowl) and is convenient for everywhere. Which includes the cathedral gardens.

When Richard III was disinterred his carpark resting place (which had been a playground in Leicester Grammer until it relocated) his part of town was rather down at heel, but his reappearance has kickstarted some serious gentrification. The cathedral gardens, which had been a bit of grass, some graves, and a collection of cider swigging tramps who seemed as permanent a fixture as the graves, got this treatment too.

What makes them so special to me is how wild they are. So much of the cities green space is clipped, groomed, regimented, and planted with something garish in the way of bedding plants, but the cathedral garden is gentler then that. It's full of corners provided with seats, and has some nice planting, but nothing compares to a great swathe of wild grass/meadow. Maybe it stands out because of the neatly mown lawn next to it. It definitely stands out for the number of species in it, and I really love that someone has the vision to say 'leave it'. And I just wanted to share that with you!


  1. Isn't it glorious? It looks very lush and'effervescent'.

    Those white Foxgloves are lovely; I used to have some but the gardener strimmed them before seeding. I should get some more.

  2. It's very lush, and interesting to see what's lurking in a lawn if you let it grow, I like it because it's simple, must be fairly low maintenance (though nettles will want watching) and yet really effective. The bits of planned planting are great as well which makes it my second favourite public garden in Leicester.