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  • Writer's pictureJules

Botanical Beauty in Cambridge

Tues 15th Feb

Being spontaneous can be hugely rewarding. Take yesterday for instance. I’d travelled up to visit my mum. I turned up unexpectedly on Sunday evening. She’d not been feeling well. After a doctor’s appointment, I suggested we go to Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. She doesn’t drive so doesn’t get out and about very often and we share a passion for gardens, plants, nature and the outdoors.

Surrounding myself in beauty

The first thing that hits you when you enter the gardens is the scent of winter flowering shrubs. The air is filled with the fragrance of winter box (Sarocococca). Rows of this vanilla-scented evergreen shrub border an expanse of lawn littered with snowdrops. It’s simply gorgeous.

Viburnum, that flowers from October through to April, always reminds me of visiting my nanna at this time of year. I remember being enthralled by the powerful scent from the delicate clusters of pale pink flowers that clung to seemingly bare branches on the shrub in her back garden. And then there’s the daphne, another evergreen, native to China. It’s bright floral scent used to waft across from her neighbours. You could smell it when you stepped from the car.

Just what I needed at this miserable time of year

We wandered the winter walk, taking in the sights and smells and listening to other visitors debating the beauty of this or that plant. I took pictures of whatever caught my fancy. Vibrant dogwood stems (Cornus Midwinter Fire). Peeling bark form various silver birch. The bright mahogany bark of a Tibetan cherry tree.

We were lucky, it didn’t rain. I’m so glad we decided on this unplanned trip. Life is an adventure if you treat it as such. The unplanned ventures can often create the sweetest memories.

How will you seek adventure today?

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