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9 February 2013

Breaks in the county - Botanical Gardens, part 1

A few weeks ago, when the snow was at least a foot deep, Mr and I went to the only place you go to when it snows...the Botanical Gardens....to admire the umm, ok, most of the plants were asleep or completely and utterly covered in snow. But, it was absolutely stunning! And actually, it is the place to go when it snows!



Can you see the lovely birdie in this shot? It's a Fieldfare. I didn't figure that out until I got home. Wish I could have told Dad. He would have liked that.

Did I tell you I'm a twitcher? Yup, I got into birdwatching from a young age, shortly followed by my Dad. What caught his attention was a particular bird that I'd written down on my list of birds seen in the garden. Bearing in mind, I grew up in the wilds of Derbyshire, oh and that I was about 9... and there certainly wasn't the internet, just old bird books, with hand drawn birds (not photographs) to refer to. Soooooo, one day I wrote down on my list, 'Golden Oriole'. Here's a pic, so you get the drift. Oh and here's a bit more info about them if you're interested. The summary of that link being - they're VERY SECRETIVE birds, VERY TRICKY to spot and found mainly in southern and eastern England, not Northern Derbyshire! Ha! I was keen and I can now only think that I must have seen a Siskin, possibly a Greenfinch. Anyway, this got Dad's scientific brain wondering and so he went to work investigating. Not only did he discover that it clearly wasn't a Golden Oriole that I'd "claimed" to see but he also found he was hooked on bird watching. Lovely.





Can you see the snow man perched on his bench, next to his igloo?


Isn't he lovely! Someone must have taken so much time to construct him and no, it wasn't us.


Oh what's this? Oh no!! Mr went in for a friendly handshake and Mr Snowman's arm was, hmm, a little frail to say the least. Snap!



But it's ok folks, we made him a new arm and look, he's giving us the thumbs up! What a grateful chap!


I can't wait to explore this place throughout each season. I wonder what they grow in those greenhouses?


Can you see the little bridge in the far right corner? It takes you over, what was a very frozen stream, up among the trees to a huge stretch of lawn and  f r o z e n  plants.


And up those steps to the lawn we found these guys...


...clearly someone knew that snowmen have twigs for arms. Makes for an easier handshake! ;-)



Just as I'm writing this post, the snow is falling again in Leicestershire. I'm wondering whether it will settle. I'm also crossing 'Gardening' off the weekend to-do list and highlighting 'Knitting'.

Ta ra for now,
Jo :-) x

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