A Garden Visitor

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May I’ve been inspired to work on my own garden.  After all, who wouldn’t want a garden that looks like this?

So I’ve been tending my garden and the lavender, purple coneflowers, daisies, lemon balm, thyme and other herbs and flowers have really grown since I planted them last year.  There have been lots of bumblebees this summer but no butterflies until yesterday, when I saw a visitor among the flowers.

 

The butterfly didn’t seem to mind that I was standing very close to get these pictures. Since I’d selected flowers for this garden that would attract bees, butterflies and songbirds, I was delighted to see such a colorful visitor.  Later I did some research and discovered that it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, and I hope it comes back many, many times!

First Impressions of the Chelsea Flower Show

When I got off the tube at Sloane Square to go to the flower show I heard someone say to follow the crowds.  However it was around 8:00 am and it looked like a lot of the crowd was going to work.  Finally I decided to follow a group of people wearing straw hats and sunglasses.  This was a good decision because after a few minutes I saw signs for the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could walk right up to the exhibit gardens without having to wait behind people to see anything.  These were the first flowers I saw.

Chelsea

Since lavender is a favorite of mine I enjoyed seeing this pretty arrangement.  These were some of the gardens around the corner:

I couldn’t believe that I’d seen all these exhibits within my first fifteen minutes of being there!  But what followed was both beautiful and solemn.  I had heard about the field of poppies, but seeing it was an unforgettable experience.  Here is an explanation as well as some pictures.

 

I lingered at this exhibit and after a while I could see all the individual flowers and think about the work that had gone into this display.  There were also people carrying examples of these handmade poppies to show us.  Each one was unique yet they blended together so well.  I returned to this exhibit several times during the day but I never got as good a view as I did early in the morning.

I wanted the time to go slowly while I was there – I didn’t want the day to end!  I have many more stories and pictures from that wonderful day.

Scenes from the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve just returned from a visit to England, where I spent last Thursday at the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could see the gardens and Pavilion displays before it became crowded.  It was an extraordinary experience for someone who loves flowers and gardens (that’s me).  The weather was perfect with sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Here are some views from the show – there will be many future posts because I took over 300 pictures!

Chelsea Flower Show

Some scenes from the show:

A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.

Chelsea Flower Show

 

 

Travel Time

After all the planning and daydreaming, it’s almost time for my trip to London.  Passport – check.  Train reservations to Bath – check.  Currency exchange – probably next week.  I just found out that I can use my phone there for a small daily fee and that’s good news.  I’m hoping that there aren’t too many movies I want to watch on the plane so I can attempt to sleep (or at least rest) on the overnight flight.  Sometimes when I get up to walk around on the plane during a transatlantic flight I feel like I’m the only one that is still awake.  Still, it doesn’t stop me from watching another movie.  Once I had the idea of listening to relaxing music to try to doze but that didn’t work either.  Not that it matters – I’m not going to attempt to sleep until it’s evening where I’m going.  I don’t want to miss anything!

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite places and looking for future favorites too.  It’s a short train ride to Bath from London and I plan to do a lot of walking.  I’m sure I’ll see lots of flowers and gardens (I’ll take pictures to share).  Planning and daydreaming are part of the preparation for travel, and they are just as exciting as the trip itself!

Lunch Choices

When I was in Genoa I walked in an area with lots of fruit and vegetable shops.  It was just about time for lunch and I thought it might be fun to buy an orange or some strawberries that I saw displayed to have as a snack.  There were also places where you could walk in and buy something more substantial that could be warmed up.  Since I didn’t see anywhere to sit I also considered other options such as buying a gelato and continuing to walk.  After a while I realized I wasn’t even hungry so I decided to wait and simply enjoy the day!

This faithful friend waited patiently outside.

Italy

Almost Spring Again

Now that it’s March I know it will be spring soon.  I was out for a walk at a park and when I saw all these hopeful signs of spring I know it won’t be long now.

almost spring

Just a few more days and it will be spring!

Almost spring

A Lake Maggiore Walk

During my visit to Italy last May I took an afternoon walk one day in Baveno along Lake Maggiore.  When I look at these pictures now I can see that it wasn’t a sunny day, but I didn’t notice it at the time.  This is probably because the views of the lake and mountains were so compelling the cloudy skies didn’t matter.  There weren’t too many people around that day so I could focus on the scenery.  I also remember seeing the flowers beginning to bloom on the hydrangeas.  Just as I thought it would be nice to have a treat I found a gelato shop.  This was an important part of the walk too.

Lake Maggiore

What I saw along the way.

It was a charming walk.

Lake Maggiore

The Search for Souvenirs

Part of the fun of travel is bringing back souvenirs that have memories of where and when they were purchased.  I have lots of postcards and refrigerator magnets but some of my favorite souvenirs are things I can look at such as art prints and calendars.  I also like things I can wear like scarves and bracelets.  When I was in Italy I wanted to find some unique souvenirs, but where should I start?  Wherever I went there were so many choices it was difficult to decide.  As I looked around I saw possibilities like these:

It’s a good idea to stop for some refreshments along the way.

Souvenirs

But instead of fruit I decided to stop for a gelato and this photograph is a great souvenir!

gelato

Snow with a Chance of Flowers

 

As I look out my window I can see a snowstorm in progress.  Here is what it looks like from inside.

Snow

Although it looks attractive I can’t help but think about how nice it will be when it’s spring.  And spring means cheery, colorful flowers.  I am so fond of flowers that I thought I’d create a scene with lots of flowers and gardens to help get through the rest of the winter.  It reminds me that it won’t be long before there are blue skies, warm sunshine and the beginning of a new season.

I’m looking forward to spring – the sooner the better!