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!

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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!

Renewing a Passport

Next month it will be time to renew my passport.  It’s a little worn now with lots of interesting stamps and memories, including a stamp from my very first visit to Italy.  On the back cover are colorful stickers that have accumulated over the years.  When I started traveling with this passport I didn’t take many photos.  I was too busy looking around and trying to remember everything that I saw.  Because of this I have very few pictures from early trips.  Then there was the time that I forgot to bring my camera to the Grand Place in Brussels. I had to buy a disposable camera and to my disappointment the pictures were blurry.  I’ll have to go there again so I can get better photographs!

It’s wonderful to have done so much traveling over the past few years.  Here are some of my favorite memories of trips where I took many, many pictures.

Now that it’s time for a new passport I’m definitely planning on more traveling, and some trips will be local since I’m living in a different place (Virginia).  I’m looking forward to more adventures and to start getting stamps in my new passport!

Letters

On a visit to London last fall I saw many ways that words and phrases presented themselves.  There were signs, souvenir shirts and even one of my favorite landmarks that uses numbers instead of letters.  When I look at these pictures now some of them give the appearance that the weather was gloomy.  It was cloudy part of the time but it didn’t rain.  That made it so much easier to take these pictures!

Here it was cloudy but you could also see some blue sky.

London

For more pictures look here.

Train Stations

I had some great experiences traveling around England by train recently, like when I was on a train from Plymouth to London Paddington.  It offered tea, sandwiches and snacks about every twenty minutes via trolley.  Many other items were free such as bottles of water, bags of peanuts and shortbread, which I really liked.

When there was a wait between trains I either went inside at larger stations (Plymouth) or walked around outside looking for interesting views.  The train ride to St Ives was beautiful and I managed to get a good seat so I could take some pictures.  The areas surrounding many of the stations were also lovely, especially at places outside of cities.

I didn’t expect to see these scenes by one of the stations…

train

train

Travel theme: Connections

When I was in England one of my objectives was to travel from London to Cornwall.  In order to do this I went to Paddington Station to take a train that made that connection.  Here are some scenes from the train station.

After changing trains several times I arrived in Cornwall.  I noticed an interesting sign at the station and decided to follow it.  After a short walk this was the view…

EnglandEngland

A Walk in London

When I’m walking in London there are certain places I can’t miss such as Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.  But this time I decided to take a look around and notice other things such as…

It is also nice to see something familiar while walking in London.

London

Here my focus was on the basket of flowers rather than the bus!

London

Another Adventure

London

I’m getting ready for a trip to London and Cornwall.  This doesn’t mean packing (yet) because I haven’t tried to find out what the weather will be like.  However I am planning to bring an umbrella and a poncho and hoping that I won’t need either one.  This is my first visit to Cornwall and I will be traveling there by train.  If you happen to be there and you see someone on a bicycle (the kind with a basket attached to the handlebars) with at least one camera it is probably me.  I will also try to put the camera away and simply admire the scenery.  Watch for some “postcards” along the way.

Here are some familiar places that I’ve already seen.

London

England

I’ll see you again soon!