One more from RBG Kew: Glasshouses, plus that lotus keeps showing up

If I lived anywhere near Kew, you’d know just where to find me; right in a glasshouse. Every chance I got.

This is the famous Palm House constructed in 1844. Beyond it you can see the Waterlily House 1852.

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This year the Palm House is fuller and richer than years past because the second giant glasshouse, the Temperate House, is closed for rebuilding and refurbishing for a few years, and, while there’s a temporary glasshouse for the Temperate House plants, some have been relocated into the Palm House.

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I just caught the watering time of the day. Actually, it’s more like the misting time. Isn’t it fantastic? Loved the humid, green, fragrant air.

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So many weird and wonderful blooms.

palm house

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Then on to the waterlily house. There’s something about this glasshouse that brings about some sort of reverence.

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It might be the black water, or the reflected light, or it might be the glorious blossoms, but there were at least a dozen people in the glasshouse with me and no one made a sound.

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And just there, there it was, sighing among the grasses. The lotus! A pink one. How beautiful. I have a thing for lotus these days.

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You know, I dream of a glasshouse of my own. I dream of a magnificent pavilion as my studio, or a glasshouse to house fifteen massive palm trees, (although in truth I’d settle for a simple little garden variety greenhouse and my own studios are the most wonderful spaces in the world to me, and I feel so lucky to have them. :D ).


But still had to show you one of my most favourite galleries in the world. This is the Marianne North Gallery. Marianne North was a Victorian botanist and artist and world traveller, and here, practically from floor to ceiling, is a collection of her paintings from all over the world.

Isn’t this the most magnificent space?

I used to take loads and loads of photos here, but last year someone put up a no photographs sign.

“Bah”, we say, and even, “stuff that for a game of soldiers.”

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And sometimes breaking rules is vital, because, here is Marianne’s lotus, and we must have a photograph of that!

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My week has been incredibly busy and I can’t wait to tell you all about visiting Bath, (Wednesday) and Art in Action, (today and tomorrow), taking over the charity book stall on Saturday’s village market, and visiting friends on Sunday, and, I’m also looking forward to the days calming a little next week. Big hugs from busy me over here in West Cottage to all of you. Hoping you’re having lovely, stress free and creative days.

Tell me about your days, leave me links so I can catch up with everyone. :D

Kew Palace

A couple of years ago, Robert and I watched a BBC program about the restoration of this big house. I found it fascinating how a tiny scrap of flocked green and black wallpaper could dictate the whole room scheme and lead to some hand made flocked green and black borders being reproduced exactly the way the Victorians would have made it, and that there was someone in E who actually hand made flocked wallpaper borders!!!

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Greeters at the entrance are dressed in Victorian costumes, and, although there have been three Kew Palaces, this one and the interior is a time bubble from King George III (1738-1820) and Queen Charlotte and stretches somewhat into the Victorian times.

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And it’s a lovely big house to visit. There is a collection of beautiful and important paintings in each room, lovely furniture, views to the formal gardens outside and, it’s easy to imagine living there.

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The restored parts of the house and the first and second floor. The third floor is still stripped bare and waiting for restoration, but visitors can have a look. The fourth floor is another story though. Temptingly lit staircases and servant’s passages abound, but access is restricted and CC cameras are in full view.

Darn, I really wanted to sneak around and explore everything, but I think old Queen Charlotte would not have been amused. I did ask about secret passages but was assured there were none. (Do we believe that?…lol…bet I could find one)


R said I was being bad and so we walked back down the staircase to the main floor and looked at some of the treasures.

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And out thru the dining room with its celebratory supper. Apparently, this was the supper King George had when he recovered from his first bout of madness and was allowed to use a fork and knife again. Apparently he spent most of his time in straight jackets being fed with a spoon. Poor man. Who knew arsenic powders in cosmetics were bad for you!?!

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On to the conservatories next. :D

Also, please excuse the tragic lack of comments on my part. These days are just flying past and I’m just trying to catch up, but read every single comment and am so grateful for your friendship. :D

Black and white relic, WordPress weekly photo challenge, and photo Friday

Black tires, ancient white car, being reclaimed by nature at the scrap yard.

Maybe not. Maybe there’s someone out there who will rescue it and bring it back to life.

Although, to me it looks like it’s living a fine life right where it is. :D

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For the WordPress weekly photo challenge, Relic and for Photo Friday, black and white.

Extra Extra and the effects of the sky

My two favourite photo challenges WordPress and Photo Friday:

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Walked under a look-out over the river and found some sunlight magic! :D

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The two photo challenges WordPress and Photo Friday this week seemed miles apart and then I looked thru my last few files and found this:

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I remember standing there on the dock and looking down at the swaying boats and then those buoys suddenly turned into giant salmon roe.

It made me smile. :D

round here

Just a few shots from round here today. :D

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Started the day with Milo coming for a cuddle. Made a cup of tea and drank it while exploring waves of morning sunlight on the curtains and seedpods. Morgan checking out a new haul of baskets. I love those two to the left. These two make four in my collection. Can you believe that baskets are 50 cents at the thrift stores? I caught a ray of sunshine on the patio this afternoon, made spaghetti Bolognese for supper, and Milo has developed this habit of hiding under the flowers until I get too close and then does a mad streak in front of me and across the lawn sniggering, “I am the night!” What is he like? :D

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Robert Hichens’ Bella Donna and lily of the valley on my bedside in the early morning light.

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For the WordPress weekly photo challenge Work of Art and Friday Photo early morning.

on rivers, on Earth Day

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To me, rivers have always been extraordinary things. A bit like living creatures. I mean, take a lake. It just is. Just sparkles in the sun and gently laps at the edge and stays in place in a dip in the Earth. But a river is so different. It’s alive. It rushes and bubbles and twinkles and swirls…and tantalises with river music; you know the kind? There’s a mystery about rivers, isn’t there? I mean, does anyone ever wonder where a lake comes from? But a river is different. Perhaps it starts with a drop on some spongy wet moss, too soaked to contain that drop, which drips on and joins a few other drops from a dripping cedar bough, which forms a tiny trickle somewhere up high in a mountain, and that trickle, full of collected drips wends its way to where you stand, polishing and tumbling stones, sustaining forests, creatures, giving life. I’m always mesmerized by rivers.

I think that life flows like a river. Sometimes it is calm and twinkling, and sometimes it’s at such a torrid rush that it sweeps us off our feet.


Hello from Sunday night


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They say that if you see the green flash just at the moment of sunset, you cannot be deceived in matters of the heart. So I’ve watched each sunset here, photographing the last moment, till the last evening of our vacation, when conditions were just right for me to be able to bring it to you.

So now, with digital photography, we can all see the green flash and all understand and be true judges of character, and possibly live happily ever after.

(I knew I was good for something…lol.) :D

So get ready, because it’s going…

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gone. :D

Sharing with Mary for Mosaic Monday

Spring is in the air

There’s such an immediate rush to right now. Like things can’t wait another second longer. It could be because spring has sprung and everything is flying, springing, greening, swimming, hopping and generally rushing head long into the season, or it could just be me.

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On this wonderfully perfect first day of spring we opened all the doors and windows and let the house freshen a little.

The mailman brought a sweet and most welcome letter from my pen pall Laurel. I love good mail!

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My cats are going a bit crazy. Morgan is hissing at Milo or at us if she doesn’t like something, and generally being a miserable cat form hell and Milo seems to have two settings these days: dead to the world under a blanket or running up the walls, tearing thru the house and jumping out of windows just for fun. He does this thing where he jumps out the window, runs around to the back door, runs thru the house to the open window and jumps out again. And he’ll do that over and over and over. What’s all that about?

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I got the most beautiful bouquet of flowers as a gift from some friends who came for supper. It’s so giant and so fragrant, and has roses and orchids and hyacinths and proteas and all sorts of beautiful things. I’m feeling so lucky.

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Actually, I love the flowers so much I’ve been moving them from room to room with me.

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I’m leaving in three days and so will enjoy them every second of every day before I go.

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Sharing with Nancy and looking forward to everyone’s random days. :D