Sometime you just have to get out and do things... tempus fugit and all that.
Mum turns 60 this year, and deciding what to buy her is a nightmare, so I came up with a cunning plan. We'd take her on a trip to go and see a couple of places she wanted to visit, but had never got round to. Mum, like me, is a bit of a hermit. We like our little corner of Wales, our routine, our own beds, and proper cups of tea made with spring water off our hillside. So when we go away we tend to make the most of it, and we crammed a huge amount in to 3 days away from home!
This isn't Southern Europe, though we did have to venture down South. Mum is the gardener in the family, our garden is beautiful, filled with wonderful plants. Kew Gardens is a place she's always wanted to go to, but never been. We spent a whole day in there, looking at plants, and taking huge delight in the number of bees to be found on so many flowers.
We went to the Palm House and sweltered in the heat and humidity. I got to see the inspiration for the May Time Travellers Club, Amazonian Waterlilly.
There's lots in Kew about bees at the moment, including a huge art installation called The Hive. At first glance it seems a bit gimmicky, but standing inside listening to the hum of the hive was weirdly soothing.
Kew is all about the trees though, they're everywhere. Every size, every type, every shape... We found a fruiting Quince Tree, Sweet Chestnuts galore, and Horse Chestnuts (which provided ammunition for certain members of our group of a mischievous nature!). We even spotted a Jay while walking along the Holy Walk. Our final stop was the Treetop Walkway, which takes you right up to canopy height.
The weather, as you can see, was wonderful. Warm, dry, but enough cloud cover to stop it being too hot. A really perfect day.
Back in our garden there are plans, for a rose that we smelt in the Rose Garden that was divine, Conkers from Kew to be planted in pots and persuaded to grow in this corner of Wales, and maybe a return trip... after all the Temperate House was closed for restoration, it would be a shame to never see that!