Last time I wrote we were just preparing for Christmas, yes, that’s right Christmas 2013. And now…well I know that the staff in the Education Department at the National Botanic Garden has already had a meeting to discuss Christmas 2014. It’s July and we have just come back from our summer holiday in Austria where the scenery was magnificent and the weather wasn’t! Back then, in December, I was looking forward not only to Christmas but also to the snowdrops appearing and was missing the swallows swooping around the Great Glass House chattering. Now the snowdrops have been and gone and the swallows are back as cheeky as ever. Then…some of the beds in the Garden were dark and bare just waiting and now…now in July there are swathes of colour everywhere you look. In the Wallace Garden there is a fabulous wild flower bed where I had a chat with some visitors from Manchester who were blown away by the variety and colour. Well it is stunning. The Boulder Garden hosts a variety of plants from a pale santolina which looks like a collection of tiny lace doilies, to a beautiful rain lily which was about to be planted. For me the cistus there are reminiscent of holidays in Greece – lovely. The Mirror Pool and the Rill are back in working order and on the Broadwalk the colours are just fantastic. Everywhere you look there’s and ooh! an ah! or even a wow! I had been doing a fairly boring but necessary job on the computer so when it was finished I took my camera and went out for a break and a little wander. There were a lot of people around in spite of the dark clouds that threatened, buzzards called from somewhere on high and, in general there was a nice buzz around the Garden. I walked down the Broadwalk and at the Circle of Decision turned right and went back through the Double Walled Garden. Recently I read in the new Visitor Guide that the plants around the Circle of Decision are red, white and green, the colours of the Welsh flag. I hadn’t even noticed that, so I had a look and sure enough it’s obvious and it looks great. I didn’t have enough time to have a good look around the Double Walled Garden but I did notice the hollyhocks on the Colour Corridor. The area looked cottage gardeny (I know that’s not really a word but hey!) with a rose scrambling over the trellis behind the hollyhocks. There were even lots of colour in the Kitchen Garden Quadrant. I really must visit the Garden as a visitor rather than a volunteer then I can have a proper look. Well I had to get back to the office so turned my back on the delights of the Garden pausing only for a deep breath by the sweet peas in the Courtyard at the Stable Block then more computer stuff to do before home time. Pam Murden 16 July 2014
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