London is a city of many things - rain, fish and chips, stiff upper lips. It is also filled with small secret gardens. With London bracing itself for thousands of visitors during the Olympic Games, locals will appreciate more than ever the wealth of quiet corners dotted around the city.
Below, photos and a bit of history by Reuters photographer Olivia Harris.
A statue stands in Warwick Square in Pimlico, London.
A black London taxi drives past Montagu Square in central London.
Cyclists soak up the sun in Gibson Square in north London. The mock classical temple is actually a ventilation shaft for the Victoria underground line. In the 1930s the square was very run down and residents used it to grow vegetables.