A gloriously sunny winter's day to wander around the Cambridge University Botanic Garden...
There was the usual February display of snowdrops. Many other gardens make a big thing of their snowdrops and advertise special "Snowdrop Days". Despite the lack of fanfare the gardens here are no less impressive.
OK, now lets wander round and see if anything else is flowering...
Hellebores of many colours are at their best just now. For those of you who ask from time to time, my camera is fitted with a neat, hinged display screen so I didn't have to lay down on the cold wet ground. And I can still get up OK, so no need to worry about me!
A white version of the Hellebore or Lenten Rose as it's sometimes known.
I think that's a Viburnum, though I didn't check the little label (it's not, it's a Daphne as Rosie has pointed out in a comment below). It has an almost overpowering fragrance which is always a surprise to encounter in mid-winter. The red stems of the dogwood form a colourful, unfocused background.
The main avenue looks good at any time of year and I don't think I've shown you it before on this blog. In a normal formal garden the trees are planted so that everything is symmetrical and balanced. This garden however was designed by Charles Darwin's teacher, John Stevens Henslow, to instruct his students in botany. He has taken the opportunity to illustrate the different growth habits of similar trees, so a tall upright version is often contrasted with a low, spreading variety of the same type of tree. It looks a bit strange but draws the attention to his point.
At the end of the avenue is a fountain which is popular with children (and ducks) later in the year. There's still some ice on it this morning.
Here's this month's interesting bit of greenery.
The picture above looks as though it could be somewhere tropical, but I'm afraid we're still in a rather chilly Cambridge. So lets have a peep inside the greenhouses...
And it's also the time of year when they have the Orchid Festival which we'll investigate fully in the next post.