Saturday, 27 September 2014

Kensal House: shade of magnolia


There's a baby Magnolia grandiflora in the communal garden with just one citrus-scented blossom the size of a dinner plate.

This is an unusual choice for municipal planting so close to a dwelling: its natural ambition is to reach 90 feet, so if left unchecked it will obscure light from this listed Modernist building on Ladbroke Grove originally known as 'the sunshine flats'.

Teams of cheerful, un-sweary teenagers are slapping magnolia paint on the walls of a room in Kensal House community centre and washing down exterior walls ('A spider! Aargh!'). If you're a magnolia denier, then by all means get 'Tallow' from Farrow & Ball if it makes you feel better. (My previous endurance-drawing visit to Kensal House is logged here: http://isobelwilliams.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/ghosts-and-theatre-in-plaster-thirties.html.)


The teenagers are from SPID Theatre http://spidtheatre.com/wordpress/ and NCS The Challenge http://www.ncsthechallenge.org

Afterwards I walk along Portobello Road past jackpot shots in the gambling shop and a stall selling halal paella. I haven't noticed any rancour all day. Back on the street, it doesn't take long. One City type is whingeing to another: 'He put me in the second category of his guests. I don't even care.' Yes you do.

Turn the corner and there's an inexplicable outburst of redundant municipal planting around spindly new trees on the fancy York stone pavement in Westbourne Grove. Including clumps of sage. And please tell me that isn't euphorbia, the sap of which can land you in A&E if you don't know what you're doing.

More pictures if you scroll down.













1 comment:

  1. I have long maintained that there's a lot to be said for magnolia.

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