Category: Nature

The Water Lilies of Wisley

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden at Wisley in Surrey is a beautiful place to visit at any time of year. It is home to some of the largest plant collections anywhere in the world. With decorative gardens, an arboretum, glasshouses and water features; Wisley opens its doors to hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. RHS Wisley also offers education for gardeners of all ages, and the beautifully maintained gardens serve as an inspiration in terms of design and cultivation. A beautiful Grade II Listed Building is home to the ‘Laboratory’, which is used for scientific research and horticultural...

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Where the Wild Orchids grow

A pleasant surprise to come upon literally right outside the door. Wild Orchids in June bloom, in the garden. There have been a few the last few years on the roadside verge down the lane, but this year they seem to have finally made the way into the wild garden at home. Not masses but a few here and there in amongst the big daisies and tall grass, and by the hedgerow. Pinks, purples and whites amongst the green. There are well over 20,000 known species of orchid around the world, in context that is more than double the...

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From Turkish Tulip to Dutch Icon

As I’m born and raised in the Netherlands, so it is no surprise there had to come a post about tulips at some point…. As the tulip is known worldwide to be closely related to the Netherlands…. Just like wooden shoes (no we don’t all wear them everyday) and windmills (don’t ask…we live in normal houses)  😀 Although the Netherlands is one of the biggest export countries of tulip bulbs and famous for its colourful tulip fields, the flower finds its origin in Turkey. Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire, tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. The...

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The Beauty of Ferns

A tiny spiral appears amid the undergrowth – a new leaf is beginning to unfurl.  The zesty green frond offers a welcome splash of colour after the grey of a long winter. I love watching ferns awaken in Spring – each leaf opening with different personality.  Some are slow to shake off the winter slumber – like a tiny creature curled up, dozing with a curly prehensile tail… Others extend gracefully.  As a light breeze ripples through the leaves (and with a little imagination), they begin to resemble seahorses drifting on a gentle current. I imagine these leafy seahorses...

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When frost grips the garden

A lovely fresh cold morning and as the sun rose in the cold air it was time to wander out with the hounds. Monty and Jasmine love the still air, their noses go crazy at these times, tails up, heads down, checking out what’s new or what has been prowling and leaving scent in the garden at night. Looked like a morning to bring the camera 🙂 It was a great morning to relax, walk around and take a look at the small things in life around. The flowers, even this late in the year, trying so hard to...

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A Lavender Escape

It was the end of summer and I found myself gazing at a lavender farm in the South East of England. The sight of this huge lavender field in Surrey came as a bit of shock. After all, this is one of the ‘commuter counties’ for London; an urban region where towns and villages are interspersed with horse racing and golf courses. The local countryside usually consists of grassy hills, agriculture and fragmented woodland. Yet here it was – a lavender field curiously and wonderfully out of place – like a picture of Provence. As the road ahead began to bend, the full...

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