Friday, 20 September 2019

September's Garden

The Stream



In the north-west corner of the University Botanic Garden in Cambridge there is a short, slow-flowing stream. It's fed by Hobson's Conduit, an artificial water-course built in the seventeenth century to bring fresh water into the town, and supplies water to the bog-garden and lake.



Along it's length the gardeners take advantage of the wet environment to grow many water-guzzling plants which would otherwise not survive in this area of low rainfall. Area of low rainfall? In England? Yes, indeed. Despite all the clich├ęs, this part of England receives only 563mm (22 inches) of rain each year. That's about the same as San Francisco, and less than Miami, Perth (Aus), Cape Town or Lisbon.






One of the most striking things about the stream garden, to a regular visitor like me, is the change that takes place through the seasons. In winter there's a lot of bare earth showing, then come the spring the gardeners are here planting it up for the summer and within a few short months the stream is all but hidden by the luxuriant vegetation, all built from the nutrients in the soil, water and sunshine.






Plants which thrive here include giant rhubarb, gunnera manicata, the skunk cabbage, lysichiton americanum, plume thistle (cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’), Culver's root (veronicastrum virginicum) and bleeding heart (dicentra spectabilis) - it says on the website.






Dragonflies often make a home here too, but it's really just a place to wander slowly absorbing the whole wild rampant show of growth.










Take care.


19 comments:

  1. A lovely area. Must be a botanist's delight.

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  2. A wonderful spot for having a closer look, John. I like the texture of those red and brown leaves.

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  3. Such beautiful variety of color and shapes. The reflecting one is my favorite of your photos today.

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  4. So much beauty so late in the season John. Lovely.

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  5. It is so lush and beautiful there. Quite a surprise to learn that it gets such little rainfall. Innovative waterways from such a long time ago.

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  6. It is amazing how quickly the sides of a stream will fill in during the spring! Great photos!

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  7. I have you beat on the rainfall. We average 12 in of rain per year!!!

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  8. Seeing autumn wandering in is such a thrill. Beautiful colors.

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  9. Reminds me of the stream garden at Hidcote. Such luxurious growth.

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  10. How lovely, an interesting part of the garden and wonderful at this time of year:)

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  11. I just read your "about me" but can't see any contact. You mentioned spending 20 years caring for young people with disabilities. I had a good friend who helped out at the Trueloves School in Ingatestone but I expect you were further north than that.

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    1. I worked at a school in Cambridgeshire, just north of Royston. I had problems with a lot of unwanted emails so removed contact details from the site.

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  12. I love that the gardeners make the most of this area John and am astounded that there is anywhere in UK that gets less rain than we do ☺️

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  13. Hi John - it's a beautiful garden and offering us a view of plants that like their feet in water or damp conditions. Very little rain this year - but no doubt we'll get a fair amount soon - cheers Hilary

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  14. Beautiful photos. I love the textures in that last photo.

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