Oxford day, appointments and chasing the Moors.
Hello everybody, how’s your week going?
I’ve had a rare treat!
Robert came with me into Oxford and we had a beautiful day.
I must say that Robert rarely comes into Oxford with me, but he had an appointment in town and so we decided we would do a little more research into the Moors together.
I stopped at Pret-a-Manger for a croissant and tea.
Do you know this lovely little UK coffee bar? I understand that now they have a few locations in the US as well.
Our Pret is located in one of the oldest buildings here. Right beside a little church.
The church is surrounded by this fence with “do not park your bike here” signs.
I guess the signs mean something to someone…lol.
Like I said in my previous post, the only clue I have to the Medieval frescos are the faded circa 1930 photographs saying that the originals are in the Bodleian Library.
But that was then.
The Bodleian Library no longer functions as it once did. Over the years, the discovery of more history and scores of documents have made it necessary to relocate branches of the library. The most likely place for my drawings seemed to the Westin Library, (where Medieval scripts and paintings are recorded in photographs and books.) After speaking to the chief historian, in now looks more likely that the paintings have been moved into the vaults on the Ashmolean museum…although no one knows where they actually are.
So we set off to the Ashmolean, spoke to the clerk…who said everyone in the history department is stopped for lunch.
Nice! We didn’t mind. We had a lovely hour mooching around the museum.
When everyone came back from lunch, they sent word to the clerk to supply us with email addresses and have us make a formal enquiry and they would look into it.
So there we are.
We had another two hours before R’s appointment, and so we decided to visit the botanical garden.
The botanical garden here in Ox is a beautiful little spot right on a canal of the Thames.
Tons of people were out punting and generally mucking about in boats, and so R had a seat on the bank to watch the hilarity of the punters trying not to fall in or play bumper boats, and I went for a walk thru the gardens.
This is not a very big garden…as botanical gardens go…it’s only 4.5 acres, but it’s an important one. It started life as a university physic garden and is the oldest botanical garden in all of the UK. For all its compact size, it contains over 8000 species, making it one of the most important gardens in the world.
It is divided into two sections by a great stone wall.
The first section is a sort of park (above), and the second section is comprised of veg, fruit, wild meadow, damp shade and water gardens, plus an orchard.
Here are a few shots of the veg garden.
I love veg gardens and am always learning something new.
See these beautiful rhubarb cloches?
I wish I could have them in Vancouver. Nothing like this is sold in Van and these are just too heavy to haul on the flight.
Just past the veg gardens is a little orchard. That reminds me, I said I would buy a small apple for our garden here to replace the one which had to go to make way for the car port.
Past the orchard is the most amazing thing.
Look! It’s a jumble of flowering plants and grasses, five feet tall!
It’s a planting called seeds of change.
A direct sowing of drought tolerant plants designed to have minimal impact on the environment while providing maximum benefits to wildlife.
The end of the botanical garden is a shady and damp area for shade loving plants.
It’s right beside the river and has loads of places to sit and rest around ponds and under trees.
That’s the view back towards Ox.
One more place I want to show you, the south side of the wall and these incredible 12 ft deep borders.
Some of the plants are over six feet tall.
Oh to have the room…huh?
The most fun was walking back to wards a smiling Robbie who has been sitting by the river watching the punters almost knock each other off, hit the banks or trees and get attacked by wildlife! 😀
Then we walked several miles to R’s appointment, and then back into Oxford and we had a very late lunch/early supper at Will’s restaurant The Vaults.
It was lovely. They were all set up for afternoon tea (you know, scones and jam), but we asked Will if we could have some supper and he made us the best tarragon chicken with veg and roasted potatoes.
Then we had a chat and a bit of a catch-up.
Then, early evening, we walked out of Oxford and drove home.
This beautiful Dutch masters painting at the Ashmolean (A lady sitting at table attributed to Simon Kick (1603 – 1652)) is a little like me right now.
Waiting for replies to emails and doing research into the Moores.
Oxford is so beautiful, especially in the sunshine. If only I had the space for those wonderful borders and a cabinet of curiosities like the Tradescant Collection in the Ashmoleon. Hope those emails are soon pinging through.
PS So glad to have found you through Julie.
Looks to me to be a perfect day the two of you had. And I am in LOVE with that garden!
Combining tasks and making a lovely day, what could be better? The botanical garden is diverse and lovely. Gardens like this provide great inspiration and pleasure. All together a beautiful day.
Lovely photographs. I enjoyed taking a look at a new area to me. Beautiful scenery…great post.
Best of luck with the research V .. Super photos as always. I just love that garden .. and the drought resistant plants are stunners. Those borders are amazing too!
a few in the US? well, i cant speak for the rest of the country but there’s TWO Prets within walking distance of my office – one is even in the Westfield (aka Oculus) Mall under the WTC .. literally next door to the entrance to our building!!!!!!!!!!!
Oxford is high on my list of places i want to wander .. so thank you for this visit/all these delicious photos