During my Spring Break of 2006, I traveled to England with a friend. Although it was very cold, especially to someone fresh from Hawai’i, there was no rain for the three weeks we spent there.
These photos will be in three sections. The first group was taken in London, in and near St. James Park. As you can see above, the daffodils in England are a brilliant herald of Spring. They are some of the first flowers to be seen.
They were in large clumps everywhere I looked.
Of course, there were more flowers in bloom than just daffodils. Tucked here and there one could find these lavender beauties.
Here is another view in St. James Park with its carpet of blooms.
If you rest on a park bench by the river to feed the squirrels or have a cup of hot coffee and warm up, you will see the “old man willow.”
This second section shows our drive through the Cotswolds, visiting such places as Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare country). Again, there were early blooms poking through the cold ground in little hidden spots.
Of course, who among us doesn’t love the romantic sight of a thatched roof? It brings back memories of “Merrie Olde England,” doesn’t it? There are a few flowers blooming along the road in front of this home.
Mostly we drove along narrow roads lined with bare hedges, and through the narrow winding streets of the villages.
The fences were made out of the yellow limestone so common in Cotswold country.
For the third part of our journey, we drove toward the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover. One of the English women I’ve come to learn about is the novelist Vita Sackville-West. A visit to her home in Kent (Sissinghurst Castle) took us through her “white garden,” even though very little was blooming. If you are interested in seeing her gardens in full bloom, go here.
The English spring daffodils were in full bloom here, too.
In every corner of her gardens you are invited to rest and meditate.
I love to fantasize about what it would be like to live in an English home like this one. I can imagine the novelist working out in her gardens (when she wasn’t writing), then sitting on the bench against a warm wall to view her results, cup of tea in hand.
There are pictures of Sissinghurst in bloom on this website, as well as a different view of her home. I spied these blooms climbing up the end of her home.
Sometimes you are left with the feeling that she has just paused in her planting. These beds are ready for the new annuals to be put out. Because her gardens and castle are part of the National Trust, I’m sure there are gardeners who still carry on her “white” theme each year.
Here is another cluster of color along one of the winding paths.
There was a moat that surrounded one area with a boathouse under the bridge. The boat was still there! In the background you can see the roof of one of the oast houses, used for drying hops to make their brew.
I’d love to go back to visit Sissinghurst sometime when it comes back to life in the early summer. Someday I will get to do that.
A hui hou!