Barbican Conservatory

London’s Barbican Centre is a unique urban space and whilst it would be easy to dismiss it as a collection of fairly brutal concrete buildings there are plenty of green spaces to be found.

Established gardens & playgrounds for the residents and their offspring. Two lakes with reed and fountains. But its hidden oasis is the conservatory.

It might not have the amazing expanses of glass or the elaborate ironwork balconies of the glasshouse at Kew but on Sunday afternoon you can wander amongst the dense exotic planting, watch the koi carp in their little pond and seek out the terrapins in their lofty home.

The design is in keeping with the rest of Barbican - unadorned metal frameworks support climbing plants, pathways and raised beds are made of purple-grey engineering brick creating a certain 70s feel to the place - especially with the silhouette of a giant glossy Swiss cheese plant seen against the high glass windows.

Back home in snowy Norfolk I’m in the studio looking at my sketches - a contrast to the bleak snowy landscape here.