(Photo: © Barbara Neumann 2011)
The Inner Temple Garden is a surprising oasis of peace in the centre of the City, occupying a three-acre site within the historic precincts of the Temple. There has been a garden here since the 12th century and there is a legend that the Wars of the Roses began after an encounter here.
A deep herbaceous border flanks the 18th-century gates at the main entrance, renowned for the use of succession planting and innovative colour combinations. In early summer this border is luminous with a variety of alliums, inter-planted with delicate forms of aquilegia amidst the developing foliage of salvias, asters, heleniums, geraniums, grasses and dahlias, which supply a tapestry of colour until the onset of winter.
Other notable features include a peony garden, a brass Queen Anne sundial, a statue by van Ost, a pond area, a broad walk lined with mature plane trees along the Embankment boundary, tranquil woodland plantings and a constantly refreshed pot display.
The 12th-century Temple Church lies within the boundaries of the Inn, the prize-winning garden of the Master's House on its eastern boundary.
As well as notable lawyers and politicians, many men of letters have lived here, including Charles Lamb, Oliver Goldsmith, Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson.
The courtyards of the Temple are adjacent, where barristers have their chambers and smaller pockets of greenery and plantings can be found.