Sarah’s back from what’s now become her annual sea kayaking expedition to the Outer Hebrides (blog post on the way), but clearly hasn’t had enough of being outside most of the time yet. So today we went to the Wilderness. As you’ll see it wasn’t really a wilderness, but that’s what it called itself on an otherwise empty noticeboard, enough provocation for a blog title for me.
In reality the Wilderness was part of Ness Botanic Gardens, over on the Dee Estuary. Sarah’s a member here, though I hadn’t visited for years. But I felt like a day off from sociology so, with no books of any kind in my bag for once, we set off for a day of close observation, that being Sarah’s way in any garden.
And this blog post isn’t going to contain many more words, just lots of closely observed photographs taken on my phone of springtime turning into summer. Pictures of joyous abundance. As all kinds of plants I don’t remember the names of go about their annual business of reproduction.
Our day out in a beautiful wilderness that’s really very much cared for.
Next we walked into the less landscaped parts of the garden, out round its perimeter, close to the Dee Estuary and the railway that runs alongside it.
I enjoyed the observing. The being out with the natural scientist that Sarah is. Pointing out clear facts to me.
“This is a spruce…that’s a sequoia…that’s the female…this is the male…this is what will happen when the cone ripens…these are what’s left of last year’s seed heads…”
We’re out of the Wilderness here and in a section we’ve always called ‘The Wedding Garden.’ You’ll see why.
Sarah tells me this is an unusual thing, growing from a branch of this Sequoia. It’s common name being a ‘Witches Broom.’ A plant becoming a new variety of itself? Something like that.
Note from Sarah – “My understanding of this, the ‘witches broom’, is that it is a genetic accident that happens on trees…. and the resulting growth can be different from the original tree, but I’m not sure why or how it happens. I just know this is what this is. I have observed this one now growing larger and larger, and in fact there is now another one in this tree. I would be very interested to know more about this phenomena.”
And it’s a Saturday afternoon in June, a perfect time and day for a wedding.
All good wishes to the happy pair.
Afterwards this happy pair went to Nicholls in Parkgate for the best ice creams in the world.
A perfect day out. In troubled times I can recommend a few hours in nature. The strength of its renewal, the life force evident, even in ourselves, in any wilderness.
Ness Botanic Gardens is part of the University of Liverpool. Students have been able to get in free with their student cards up ’til now, I did. Though I noticed while writing this that the price has been been increased to £1. Which seems wrong? Full details here.