Friday, 9 December 2011

The world's most glamorous garden?

Berkeley Square always looks magical at Christmas (as in this prize winning photograph, courtesy of National Geographic). Considered to be the very heart of Mayfair, Berkeley Square is also the hub of London society. Formerly quintessentially English, now Quintessentially cosmopolitan, Mayfair has long been a playground for the rich and famous.

Back in the day when the gorgeously gnarled, elephantine trees were almost as fat as they are now, but just as valuable, Nick Drake wrote his haunting song (released posthumously in 2004):

Mayfair strange in the morning light,
Mayfair strange in the summer night,
Mayfair strangest in the afternoon.
Mayfair stretching far above,
full of fame but lacking love,
Could it be we see the Mayfair moon?

Mayfair strange across the park,
In the day or in the dark,
There's no need to walk or even run.
Mayfair faces clean and nice,
But beauty here is cold as ice,
Could it be we see the Mayfair sun?

Mayfair strange at every hour,
Hidden frowns with mystic power,
Starry heights and golden throne,
Down below you're on you're own.

Mayfair strange for passers-by,
Sights of wonder for the eye,
Could it be they'll pass by again?
Mayfair calling far and near,
For even trees are wealthy here,
Could it be we hear the Mayfair rain?

A curious fact is that Nick Drake performed in a band called the Perfumed Gardeners with his schoolmates in the mid-1960s - doubly fitting, since Berkeley Square is currently home to a unique garden ‘installation’ by Tony Heywood and Alison Condie.

Heywood’s latest work, Glamourland (on show until 20th January), is aptly located - in an enclave bursting with bejewelled, manicured and silicon enhanced souls – as well as Britain’s most expensive tree: a Victorian Plane (one of 31, all of which are at least 200 years old) opposite Berkeley Square House, which was valued at £750,000 in 2008.

But glamour doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you’re feeling in need of some added glitz, why not try out a trio of Colorsport lipstains from ShopCurious – also a great idea for a curiously cheap and chic Christmas gift.

Will you?


Jan said...

Never could get into Nick - not sure why. My S.O. is a huge fan.
Have a great week!

Annie Wright said...

I used to work as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson on Berkeley Square so Mayfair was my stomping ground. It was a wonderful mixture of posh tarts and ancient but grand restaurants where you could still eat kidneys or kippers for breakfast!

Susan said...

Nick was rather a curious fellow... and I guess his music is an acquired taste, Jan, but I love the poetry and the wistfulness.

Annie, that's a coincidence, I also worked in Berkeley Square House (for what is now CBRE). We were on opposite sides of the square, but I wonder if our paths ever crossed?

Profoundly Superficial said...

I'm sure they did!!!