Monday, 12 February 2018

A Garden In February

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.



Take care.



21 comments:

  1. Thanks, I needed a walk in a garden today!

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  2. I do love northeast Ohio, but can't help wishing we could have your climate....Won't even see snowdrops for six to ten more weeks........

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  3. It almost looks like summer in your photos! Beautiful collection :)

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  4. Thankfully, these gardens aren't your 'normal formal' gardens!
    So much to admire here! Great photos, John - i need one of those cameras to spare me lots of undignified crawling around!!

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  5. To see such colour this time of year, John, would be a miracle here. I envy you!

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  6. Lovely that you can enjoy such color (and scent) in February! Those trees dwarf the people!

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  7. One of the great things about British gardens - they start to flower in February instead of May!

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  8. We are enduring the 'brown season' here and longing for green grass and the flowers of springtime! I so want to have hellebores, but have been reluctant to try them, thinking they wouldn't enjoy our humid summers. Thanks for the virtual garden tour.

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  9. That look such a nice place to walk around, pity it's in a city full of students and tourists

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  10. I think the scented shrub is a Daphne it does flower at this time of year. Hellebores and snowdrops are wonderful and I love the views of the pathways, fountain and trees:)

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  11. Love seeing the colors there. Such a beautiful place to walk into spring.

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  12. Lots of green hellobore in Newark - the snowdrops at Kelham Hall should be good now too, will riode out at weekend if not too cold

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  13. A wonderful walk through nature. Lots of green and lots of colour. A nice preview of what's to come in a couple of months or less.

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  14. Well, my blog tells you that we have SNOW here on the west coast of Norway.
    Looks fantastic where you are.
    Enjoy!

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  15. Beautiful photos. The main avenue looks very grand. I might be visiting Cambridge in a couple of weeks so I think a visit here is a must.

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  16. Oh I do love a good greenhouse John, there's something very 1920/30 about them, my favourite architectural period. Love all the gorgeous flowers but those magnificent trees steal the show for moi, they are so strong and enduring ✨

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  17. Lovely to see this kind summery garden. Really beautiful photos.
    Wish you Happy Valentine's Day.

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  18. Hi John - wonderful photos ... lovely to see an English garden - ours are getting going here. Daphnes are extraordinarily delightful plants ... as too the hellebores ... cheers Hilary

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  19. It is still going to be a few weeks before we have snow drops here - but they will come. Spring is not too far away.

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