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Showing posts from April, 2010

Tiptoe through the tulips

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I've seen so many wonderful pictures of tulips on Blotanical recently, and have to confess that while I was melting in Udaipur, I felt a tiny bit jealous! So when I woke yesterday to another perfect (and cool) day here in England, I just had to go to the Tulip Festival at Pashley Manor Gardens ... wild horses wouldn't have kept me away!! The Festival runs until Monday 3rd May and there are some 90 varieties of tulip on display and 20,000 blooms - in every conceivable colour and shape - so these are just a few of the more unusual ones that I saw on my brief visit yesterday. I certainly had no idea that tulips came in such an amazing variety of colours. Add this extraordinary array of flowers to the backdrop of the manor house (top), with its beautifully manicured gardens, and sculptures dotted around, and you won't be disappointed. Admission is £8.50 (no concessions) and there is ample free parking. A word of warning though - do get there early if you want to get ahead o…

A spring in my step in Sussex!

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I arrived from India yesterday and am so happy to see the English greenery and gardens in full spring bloom! I love Rajasthan, but the temperatures there have been quite a strain in the last two weeks and we were only able to work early in the morning or late in the afternoon, because it was like stepping into an oven! That said, the hospital is on track; the project is nearing completion, and we will soon be opening our doors to the rural villagers in Rajasthan. So now back to England, and all her glory, with the gardens in bloom and I cannot believe the lush greenery here .... no cows or camels on the roads; clean streets; beautiful gardens and a life style so different to India. I nearly missed my flight from Bombay because my flight from Udaipur was late, and had to embark on a hair-raising taxi ride between the domestic and international terminals, to make sure I caught my London flight. But my driver was good and we made a mad dash through one of the great slums of Bombay to m…

Escaping the heat on Lake Fateh Sagar

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Udaipur is filled with bougainvillea, even if the temperatures remain in the mid 40's (C)! And one of my favourite gardens here is Nehru Park on Fateh Sagar Lake. Admittedly, it's not quite the same now as it is after the monsoon, when it's surrounded by water and you can only reach it by boat, but it still makes a wonderful early morning walk.
At this time of year, when the water level in all Udaipur lakes is low, you can walk there (and do some bird watching on the way - see 22nd April post).
Named after India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the park was inaugurated in November 1967, and is a popular picnic spot for local people. But it's still a lovely green spot to enjoy in this incredible heat ... providing you get there early in the morning.
Built on an island, you will find spectacular palm trees here; and wonderful views over the Araveli Hills - a great place to relax before and after the great heat of the day! And certainly less crowded than th…

Brighton's blooming!

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Up at the crack of dawn today, as it's my only full day here in the UK and the sun is shining .... again. So off to look at what's blooming in Brighton before getting down to work. The Royal Pavilion Garden is beginning to fill with flowers, and is quite a sight to behold first thing in the morning - lots of tulips coming into bloom and with the wonderful backdrop of the Pavilion.
Bitterly cold out there after Florida (as I soon realised how scantily clad I was in the east wind!), but never mind, because it all looks so glorious! The Pavilion Gardens are just one of many free parks and gardens in the city.
Then on to one of my all time favourites here in Brighton - the Rock Garden in Preston Park, where there's always something in bloom. But spring is a particularly good time to visit because of all the tulips.
Another quick post because I've got so much to do, but just wanted to share all the wonderful spring blooms with you! More later, I promise as I'm going …

A little Florida surprise!

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On my way to the airport last week, I found a little surprise here - the Florida Botanical Gardensat Largo, near Clearwater. To be honest, I had to take a small diversion to get there, but it was well worth it when I found this little backwater and spent a peaceful hour strolling round the gardens before re-engaging with the hustle and bustle of life! Yet these gardens aren't mentioned anywhere ... not in the guidebooks, or the garden guides that I have been so busy searching during my stay here in the Sunshine State! They are a lovely leafy interlude at the heart of one of the busiest beach areas in Florida, yet there is not even a single sign pointing them out - and if I hadn't had a GPS system, I'd never have found them. I wrote earlier this year about climate change and the effect that prolonged spells of cold weather this winter have had on plants and trees throughout the state, but here at Largo there are signs everywhere like the one above; there were gardeners at w…

What's "blue" - ming today?

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No, I'm not the first to come up with the blue theme today - there's Jodi's wonderful post and Ami's to name just two - and I'm going to add my own array of "bluems" here for the Easter weekend, following on from my other colour posts last month. But I'm hoping you'll also have a little time to spare over the holiday and would like to bring you up to date on some other new blogs that have bloomed at Blotanical recently. These are just some recent newcomers to the fast growing world of garden blogging, and in no way represent the full range of new members, but I've enjoyed them and think that you may too! Children of the Cormcharts the progress of Jess' plot in Charleston, NC, as she gets to work on her new garden, while Heather's blog - Dusty Bay- has wonderful photographs of the plants in her West Coast Canadian garden. Ink and Penstemon, follows Susan in the Pink Hat's highs and lows in her garden, complete with successes and failur…