If the sun shines

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If the sun shines in London, make sure you are enjoying it, like Mr. Peacock here. There’s one definite way to enjoy a sunny, warm, winter day in London; go to Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens is one of my favorite places (and I will miss it dearly when we move home). I have more than gotten my money back from my membership. And then some.

Originally I wanted to take pictures in front of the Chinese Pagoda. The walls are red and I thought my green peacoat would look great in front it. Unfortunately, (or fortunately since it needs it), the pagoda is under restoration which I knew was coming but they’ve already started. With the area blocked off by fences, I had to come up with another plan. Thankfully, Kew Gardens is huge, so there are plenty of other places to take pictures.

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Along the far back side of the gardens is Queen Charlotte’s Cottage. While it isn’t open to the public during the week {I believe it is also closed in winter}, it does make a great backdrop for photos.

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Taken on a previous visit

It is insanely peaceful in this part of the garden and not that many people wander that far, though I did have a few people wander past today. I think the day was just too nice to pass up a stroll through the woods.

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Wellies were the footwear of choice today for wandering off the path and amongst the muddy grass. If you don’t leave the path, you’ll miss out on beautiful things.

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It might only be February, and the begin of it at that, but it certainly feels like spring might be on the horizon. The rhododendrons were already in bloom.

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If it should rain tomorrow, at least I can look back on today when the sun was shining and warm, and remember, tomorrow’s another day.

Maybe it’ll be sunny.

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Weekend in Pictures: Greenwich and a Moody Kew

This weekend we were all slightly titchy for something to do. We even had the Boy wanting to go out and about, which is somewhat of a rare thing in a teenager. We figured it had better be good.

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Awhile back over the summer, I took the kids to the Maritime Museum (to see a space exhibit, we had just watched¬†Martian). The museum is in Greenwich by the Royal Naval College. Getting there from west London is not so much fun; two tubes, the DLR, etc. Since it takes about the same amount of time as a train, we decided to take the Thames River Ferry {or whatever it is actually called, I have no idea}. I’m glad we did because we’ve done boat cruises/tours in a few places – Bonn, Germany and several in Seattle. While this wasn’t a tour, just a ferry/commuter boat, it was still a nice way to see the city from a vantage point I don’t normally get to.

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Even though I caught part of the pier ceiling in the picture above, I like that I caught the bird. It was a moody kind of weekend, all overcast.

So it was a typical London weekend!

But that was actually part of what I made it a fun weekend. The imminent threat of rain at any time is always interesting.

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This is a part of the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. It’s very pretty, and if it weren’t for the imminent rain we likely would have stuck around a bit longer. Unfortunately, the Greenwich Meridian Line {again, no idea the actual name}, is inside a museum and no one felt like paying the entrance fee just to stand with one foot on each side.

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The family, secret spy picture, which is about all I can manage of the teenager these days. I did cause him concern this morning when I told him we were actually buying the school pictures the year (he tried to flatten his hair and everything since today is picture day). I do like that at their current school they require the high schoolers to dress in formal shirts, no logos, etc. So it’s the only time my Boy wears a button down shirt, other than on school field trip days when they go to see a play. Then they are also required to dress nice. I actually just bought him not one, but two button down shirts last week. He can wear the other one when we go see Wicked in a couple of weeks. He will be most excited by this no doubt {the dressing nice part. He surprisingly wanted to go see Wicked, mostly I think because he does the sound & lighting for the school plays and seeing a professional show would be interesting from that perspective. It could also be because his grandmother and aunt are also going, and well, anything for Grandma. Including button-up shirts and London stage shows.}

Anyway.

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Sunday was the same sort of day, we did errands in the morning {Costco and Ikea, could we be any more fun?!} but in the afternoon we decided to go to Kew Gardens. The Hive instillation is being moved in the next week or two and the boys hadn’t seen it yet. While it was a moody kind of sky, it was also rather nice after the hot weather we’ve been having.

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How wonderful is this tree? I love the knots. It would go very well in a Narnia movie.

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Another successful weekend.

A day at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens just outside London is one of our favorite places to visit. Since we have a membership, and it’s only two tube stops and a short walk, we visit frequently. It’s a wonderful place to explore for flower lovers, and for those who love to be outside in general. While there are often a lot of school groups there, Kew¬†is so big you don’t have to worry about crowds.

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The Chick and I made a stop at Kew yesterday. We tend to go once a week, and since it is summer holidays, two to three times a week. We wandered from the Victoria Gate to the far right through the Winter Garden and the Plant Family Beds up to Kew Palace. {map here}

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There’s nothing that compares to walking through a beautiful flower garden, the perfume in the air is wonderful, and for me at least, it’s an instant mood lifter. There’s also nothing quite like seeing poppies growing with abandon either. I even managed to capture a bee gathering nectar.

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The colors as we walked through the Plant Family Beds were incredible {no filters or touch-ups on these pictures, just amazing natural colors}. I can’t name the flowers we saw but I want all of them to live in my garden.

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They also have a vegetable & fruit garden, the Kitchen Garden, which supplies food for their restaurants. I think one day we will have to stop and eat at Kew Gardens because everything looked wonderful!

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I loved the peppers, but they also had snap peas, squash, zucchini, cabbage and strawberries amongst others.

They also have beautiful water lily ponds, and wonderful flowers and plants along the Broad Walk. I couldn’t absorb enough of their beauty.

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I even caught snack time in the Secluded Garden among the bamboo.

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Kew was even doing some filming of their own. {photographers in the wild!}

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Do you have a garden you like to visit? What sort of things bring you happiness in the wild?