A flower for your thoughts

I’ve neglected this space and my defence is that it isn’t for want of trying. There are at present six unfinished posts in my Drafts folder that basically lost the will to carry through to publication stage. Call it being preoccupied, distracted, even distressed by the relentless barrage of bad news. So, instead of attempting to make sense of this world, I’m going to share a few happy moments since my last post.

This was Spring at Kew Gardens. My greatest accomplishment to date since moving to London is obtaining an annual subscription to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. For a small fee, I can go as many times I like and take a friend for free.

Starting from top left – the Tulip tree. How amazing is that. Then a showpiece rhodendron display in all possible colours. These originally came from the Himalayas and love the climate here. A feast for the eyes. Next to it is the Handkerchief tree. Soft, white flowers that feel like lace. Since tulips were named after Turkish for turban (in Tamil, a turban is talappa, which resembles tulip) and the handkerchiefs grow on a tree close by, does this mean a tulip is a handkerchief in disguise?

Below, the lily pads in the greenhouse – maintained at a higher temperature – you immediately feel you’re in a humid bolthole waiting for colourful toads to jump onto these broad leaves and offer a little performance of singing and leap-frogging. In the main glass-house, you can find tropical vegetation in many varieties – pictured are the bright red heliconia and the delicate Japanese hibiscus.

Outside the Kew Palace is the spring blossom in pink and the stunning yellow laburnum walkway. Tulips aplenty in the grounds. Now tell me if being able to look at this doesn’t calm those bleak thoughts or frazzled nerves.


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