Monday, March 7, 2011

4/3/11 Oh it's Kew again!

    Here is the sun, the springtime sun! There is no snow here to melt away but if there was it would be gone by now!  Yes, it's a tad chilly these days but once that sun pokes out it warms your face and you know for sure it is spring.  This weather seems to come in spurts too.  A week of sun. A week of rain. A week of sun. You get the picture.
     On Friday morning Sean and I headed to Natalizzi (the little cafe outside our flat) to have our English Breakfast then he was off to Manchester for cases and I struck out across Chiswick and headed to Kew Gardens.  The sun had been out and I needed to check up on the daffodils.  I decided to try a different route and quickly got lost in the neighborhood and doubled the walk.  I didn't mind. The sun was glorious.  It was so glorious that by the time I got to the gardens I was sweaty and hot and had to take off my scarf and gloves and unzip my jacket.  I smartened up on this trip and wore my hiking shoes which allowed a more comfortable walk and I didn't need to worry about the muddy gardens.
   Once inside Kew I headed past the glass houses and made my way to the back of the grounds.  The park was pretty empty despite the beauty of the day.  I followed a few signs leading me to the botanical illustration collection.  It was amazing.  Old and new illustrations, small and big.  My favorite was the 5 foot tall watercolor of deep dark irises.  The collection was much larger than I had guessed and it reminded me of the days at RIT in the botanical illustration class.  I wanted to go home and take all my photos and turn them into paintings.  What a great start to the gardens.  Outside of the gallery I walked into a group of chickens.  Kew has chickens.
Chickens in the sun. 

Peek a boo
A crumbly old arch.  Looks like it belongs in a secret garden.

     Past the chickens and then through a crumbling arch I headed further back into the gardens now heading towards the Japanese display.  In between there were more signs of spring to relish in. 

The Japanese Pagoda. 
The Japanese gardens.  

     I found the Japanese gardens and would love to come back in the summer with everything in full bloom.  I wandered along the grass paths and stayed off the paved walks.  It was all so quiet and sunny.  It was a lot warmer out than I had thought it would be so I just kept walking.  I found the lily pond but nothing was in bloom this time of year.  What I did find though were two giant peacocks.  First chickens. Now peacocks.   
It was so quiet and peaceful back here.  I felt like I was deep
in the woods and not in the outskirts of London. 
Some of the rhododendrons where already in full bloom.
I walked through the rhododendron dell but those were just buds. 
Oh. Peacock number one watching a Canadian goose. 
Oh another peacock under a bush. 
Yellow sunshine buds on a tree.
A look down towards the palm house. 

   Aside from the lily pond there was another large pond in the center of the park which was huge and had its fair share of water fowl.  The geese and ducks were busy chasing each other around. It was a ruckus.  I had reached the end of the park where it butts up against the Thames.  The sun was beginning to slowly set and I decided it was time to make my way back to the entrance of the park and head home. Of course I had to stop and take some photos...

The Thames and the footpath. 
This man made a friend.  I'm sure the geese was just looking
for some treats but they walked together for a while.  
I was watching these little birds in the pond.  They would
dive straight down, ruffle up the bottom of the pond, then
float right back up to the surface with the leaves and twigs.
He was so buoyant. 
Hello goose.  
These green baskets are used to establish new growth on the
edge of the lake.  They prevent the ducks from ripping up the
new plants.
Can't get enough of the sun and buds. 
It was so nice to walk around on all the plush
grass.  I'm glad I wore my hiking boots. 
Settling in for the night. 
The daffodils were open!
This was a neat looking tree.  The little seed pods looked like
strands of pom pom garland.  In the sunlight they looked
glassy or frosty. 
My walk back along the Thames. 
Just outside the gardens. 
Oh hello. 

     I watched the sun set on the Thames and enjoyed a beer at the Bell and Crown.  It was a good ending to a good sunny day.  Cheers.
You can never have too many sunset photos.


  1. So peaceful. I love your pictures.

  2. *sigh* This was a lovely entry. Just read your latest one too- polar opposite. Hope you are feeling better!