The new year is just beginning but I’m already looking forward to spring so I can see scenes like this again.
I can’t wait!
I have a drawer in my house where I keep travel souvenirs. When I opened it to add my postcards, tickets and programs from the Chelsea Flower Show, I had trouble closing the drawer. Could it be that all these wonderful souvenirs were turning into clutter? I didn’t think so, and I recalled all the opportunities I had to find interesting things to bring home with me.
Still, when I saw how many things I’ve accumulated over my travels I decided that I could use some these souvenirs in a way that I could remember when and where I got them. My first idea was to use a jewelry tree to hang some of my key chains to make something I’d enjoy:
I also have fridge magnets in this drawer that I can’t use because they don’t stick to the front of my refrigerator! Then I remembered that I have a small message board that is magnetic. It was fun arranging the magnets on it.
Afterward there was a lot more room in my souvenir drawer and now I can look at these displays and remember all the fun experiences I had when I got them! I should mention that I also consider scarves, jewelry and hand knit sweaters souvenirs and I wear them all the time. But it was great to make a display of these souvenirs so they don’t simply become more clutter in the house.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Some scenes from the show:
A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.
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!
I began Meg Travels in August and this month is my fourth anniversary! It has been so much fun sharing travel adventures from near and far. When I look for themes over the years I can see that flowers and gardens are some of my favorites, along with doors, sunsets and signs. I tend to travel in the spring and that is an ideal time to see fresh and colorful flowers. Autumn is another beautiful season for watching the leaves change color, and it is still warm and sunny.
I will continue to travel so there will be plenty more adventures (with pictures) to share over the next year. Here are some of the flowers, doorways and other souvenir pictures that I’ve taken over the past four years.
I like to find unusual walls when I travel just as much as I enjoy looking for interesting doors. I particularly liked this wall that was between a walking path and the water in St Ives. It had been raining that afternoon and everything looked fresh and green. I thought that the wildflowers and vines growing in and around the wall were charming. Later on I realized that I’d taken as many pictures of the wall as I did of the beach. This shows where it began.
Here are some details of the wall.
More walls can be found here.
When I visited the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, there were many places where I saw numbers. I walked up a steep hill to get there and discovered numbers with useful information. This clock was prominently displayed and very unique.
Here is an important sign that tells you what you need to know using numbers.
I found more information showing not only Greenwich but many other cities. I was so interested in this that I didn’t notice the shadow that my arm created as I took this picture.
I also saw this view of London which may not have had any numbers but it was worth the walk to see!
More numbers can be found here.
When I’m at the beach at sunset the sky changes dramatically as the evening progresses. Depending on where you look the sky could be changing color or it might still look like daytime. One evening I decided to watch the entire sunset from a bluff overlooking this bay in Cornwall. The color of the sky changed from blue to orange to even deeper orange. The next evening it rained so I didn’t have another opportunity to take pictures of this scene. Here are some different ways of seeing the color orange at sunset.
An early view from a seating area:
A little later:
More examples of this theme are here.