Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blue Skies and Sunshine

I had a fabulous couple of hours at Kew Gardens yesterday - the sun was shining and the sky blue - no sign of volcanic ash in the atmosphere as far as I could tell!!  I am lucky enough to live fairly close to Kew - not sure how far it is distance wise, but two short train journeys - changing at Clapham Junction - and I can be there in about an hour - a short walk over the River Thames at Kew Bridge.  I try always to be there in time for opening at 9.30 (then I can be home in time for whatever live football is on tv at lunchtime.....) and I like to be first through the gates.... (little things please me!) Yesterday I had quite a crowd with me.

Anyhow, yesterday was glorious. I knew that the magnolias were in bloom because the BBC breakfast tv programme had been there one day in the week with their weather forecaster) so I made for that part of the gardens first.  I got a bit carried away with the photos - in all I took 2 films (36 shots each...) so will have to prune (sorry about that!) out the shots so you don't get bored.  You should be able to click to enlarge them.

Magnolia trees. From a distance they look so fluffy!
magnolia blooms in close up.
I think this is the first year I've been going regularly, that I have caught the Snake Head Fritilleries in flower - they looked fab too.

I walked round the conservation area alongside the river but the bluebells are a way off flowering yet - leaves only - so will be back to see them in a couple of weeks or so, I expect. 

Doesn't the sky look blue taken up through the tree! It wasn't quite that blue to the naked eye.
Although lots of the daffodils had finished, there were areas that still had lots of glorious drifts - and with the sun shining through them they looked amazing. (I have been know to lie down on the ground for this - but not today as the grass was quite damp - it was obviously cold overnight and the dew hadn't dried)

It was so peaceful for once, with the shutdown on flights over the UK with the ash problem from the Icelandic volcano, you could really hear the birds (not that I could identify many of them - although the peacocks are quite distinctive).  I did come across one peacock, but didn't get close enough to photograph him - he wouldn't put his tail up either - and he made off at a steady trot, obviously looking for his lady-love!!)  Normally, with Kew being so close to Heathrow, planes flie overhead every minute or so, and if you go up the Treetop Walkway, you feel as if you could reach up and touch them!

They regularly change the display in these beds outside the Palm House and these spring bulbs looked - and smelled - glorious!

In front of the Palm House are a couple of round beds full of tulips - again I crouched down low to get the sun shining through the petals.
I had to take some more shots of the sun on the fountain in the lake in front of the Palm House - it still makes one of my favourite Kew shots, especially with the sun out.

This Japanese Cherry makes a great spectacle, although I am sure last year the blooms were pinker - but maybe it's just my memory!
I loved the reflections of the trees in this small lake.
I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking them yesterday.


Lesley said...

Oh how utterly glorious. I do envy you Kew being so close!
Beautiful photos! Isn't it amazing what a couple of weeks of sunshine can do!
Thanks for sharing.
Lesley x

Linda said...

What gorgeous photos!! You are very talented. Looks like a lovely day out.

Linda Cain said...

Fabulous shots! I LOVE spring photos!