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Victoria Embankment Gardens

Victoria Embankment Gardens

These gardens run east along the Thames from Embankment station. A marvellous, quiet spot for escaping from the busyness of London. Just take care to stick to the paths …

Victoria Embankment Gardens

Anyone for table tennis? Or lounging in a deck chair?

Lovely spot for chilling out and listening to a concert. Maybe not in the rain, however!

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Orchid

I’m very proud of the flowers on these little phalaenopsis orchids. I bought the plants (there are two in the pot) at a supermarket in a post-Mother’s Day sale in May 2017. They had a few straggly flowers but clearly were not happy about the long time spent wrapped in plastic, and perhaps were sad at being overlooked by buyers. The flowers fell off, I cut the flower stems back, waited — and nothing happened. Then leaves started growing, a ridiculous number for such small plants, I thought, followed by those gnarly air roots. But flowers? Nope. Then in July/August of this year I went away for three weeks and expected to come back to two dead plants, but instead each plant had a flower stem bravely straggling out. Eureka!

I may not mulch them after all. 😉

Posted as part of Friday Flowers

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Bee on a flower

A bee in London

I spotted this bee (and quite a few of its companions!) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden in London. The garden is a delightful spot, beside the River Thames but removed from the bustle below. Bees face such threats these days so I was pleased to see so many of them here, apparently thriving. I’ll do a post on the garden when I’ve finished editing the photos, but I’m quite proud of this bee so thought I’d share it now. 🙂

update: By coincidence, a few hours after I posted this photo I watched an episode of “Hidden Britain by Drone” which featured the honeybee hives atop Fortnum & Mason in London. According to the program, London has the highest concentration of honeybees in the country, and bees can fly up to 5km for food. I wonder where ‘my’ bees’ hive was?

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The garden in summer

morning glories

My favourite photo of the garden: morning glories bathed in early light.

Back to my parents’ garden for this post, a look at the garden in its summer finery.

Eat your veggies

In my family, the beans below have been known as “mystery beans from Russia” for years. My parents were introduced to the beans by the people from whom my grandparents bought this house. All that was known about the beans is that the seeds came with immigrants to Canada from Russia. A bit of Googling reveals them probably to be Yellow Romano beans. Regardless of their name, they are very tasty!

You can’t cook without herbs! Though in these photos below, the herbs look nothing like you’d find in a supermarket packet.


Dill

Dill

My parents also grow plums and pears. If I remember right (Mum, feel free to correct me here) they harvested more than 500 of each this year. (The evil squirrels took a few hundred for themselves.) I know, you’re thinking “what on earth do they do with all that fruit??” Mum preserves some, but most of the fruit is turned into wine by Dad.

Flowers galore!

These are the show stoppers, in my opinion.





Hanging baskets on the site of the old apple tree.

Hanging baskets on the site of the old apple tree.

Birds and critters

There are also cardinals and blue jays, both of which come to the patio for peanuts, but they never stay still long enough for me to capture them as anything other than a blur moving out of frame.

Cute, but Public Enemy Number 1

Cute, but Public Enemy Number 1


Also cute,  but Public Enemy Number 2

Also cute, but Public Enemy Number 2

This Monarch butterfly regards the garden as his (her?) own territory, and patrols each day in early evening. This is a terrible photo (extreme of my zoom), but I’ve applied some filters and softening for an arty look to hide the grainy lack of focus.

Monarch butterfly on zinnia.

Monarch butterfly on zinnia.

Relaxing

Could anything be more pleasant than dining on the patio with the garden as a backdrop? Food made by Mum, wine made by Dad.

Note the tomatoes in the dishes, straight from the garden.

Note the tomatoes in the dishes, straight from the garden.


Tropical Prawn Cocktails and sparkling wine

Tropical Prawn Cocktails and sparkling wine


My parents' garden

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Pink Squares 10: Cherry Blossom

A sure sign of spring!

There’s a single, forlorn, not-very-tall cherry tree at the entrance to a car park on my walk to the train station. It looks so out of place, and I can’t imagine who planted it. But the flowers are pretty (and pink!) and every since I became aware of September Squares’ theme I’ve been meaning to photograph the flowers. I was prompted again by Becky’s lovely almond blossom photos. With both September and cherry blossom season on the way out, I finally got my photos.

In the Pink!