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No Snow?

By Evelyn WeliverNo snow? No potholes in the snow, or icy roads, or frozen fingertips, or shoveling? We found a place — England. Admittedly February this year wasn’t the best month to go, but our plans were made to visit our daughter and family. We did find flowers; rain; flooded rivers; green, green grass; and sheep.  No snow.

This post will feature some of the  gardens we found and London from the view of our 3 1/2-year-old grandson. Many gardens do not open until after Easter. Click on photos to enlarge. There are also some underlined links to more information.

Hellebores

Hellebores are of several varieties and colors and may bloom at Christmas or Easter. They are found in gardens or wild in the woods.

Anglesy Abbey Estate, near Cambridge, is a National Trust property. We went on a Sunday when many families were there, bundled up for 40-degree temperatures, strolling through the gardens along the curving walk. The garden was striking,  plants without leaves making colorful sculptures.

White birch trees

A grove of very white birch trees

Green stems

White snowdrops sparkle through thin, green stems.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops

There were more than 150 varieties of snowdrops of various sizes and number of petals.  When you tilt up the delicate heads,  you see that some have ruffled green centers.

Magnifying glass

Our grandson loved the magnifying glass that was loaned to him at the entrance.

Flowering tree

A flowering tree blooms against shrubs where the color flows from gold to orange/red.

Iris

Exquisite iris.

Silky birch

Silky smooth birch trees make me wish for a dress made from fabric that looks like this.

We went to London with our family and friends for a day and watched the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. The two little boys with us waited patiently, sitting on the shoulders of their fathers. We pointed out a black, boxy taxi cab like Paddington Bear rode in.

Palace

Buckingham Palace, London.

Horses

Men in red capes on black horses and a brass band are part of the pageantry for changing the palace guard.

Green Park

The sun came out to shine on the gates of Green Park, across from the palace.

Big Ben

Eventually the sky became blue as we walked past Big Ben, Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

Park

In St. James' Park we ate in a cafe and strolled along the water. No ice here.

Flower beds

The flower beds are being planted.

Pelicans

The boys ran like puppies down the sidewalks and past the pelicans.

Everyone was tired on the return train to Cambridge.

A few days later we had fun on the Nene Valley steam engine ride into Peterbourgh.

Train

Nene Valley steam engine

Inside train

Inside the train

Inside the train we felt like we were in an Agatha Christie book. Our compartment had striped upholstered seats and wooden paneling. The door slid open smoothly.

Thomas the train

A Thomas the Train look-a-like.

A surprise, especially for our 3 1/2-year-old grandson, was an engine painted to look like Thomas the Train. He went inside and examined the controls.

When we got off the train in Peterbourgh,  we walked to the Cathedral and listened to the choir practicing.  There has been a church here since 665 A.D. Information states that the central tower is from 1118 A.D. A panoramic tour is available. There are control buttons and a map to open and close.

Peterbourgh Cathedral

Peterbourgh Cathedral, England

The next day was sunny and perfect for our visit to to Kentwell  Hall, also near Cambridge.  Kentwell  Hall is privately owned and is a working farm.  It was built during the 1500s.

Kentwell Hall

Kentwell Hall, England, built mid 1500s.

There is a maze at the house entrance made from large, different colored bricks.  Directions told how to play the game; however we just ran freely around it, laughing and following our grandson. The house did not open until after Easter, but we enjoyed being outside very much.

Walled garden

The walled garden

Inside the walled garden it was 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the grounds. Thick grass provides a great place for chasing each other. Among the plots of herbs and vegetables there were espaliered fruit trees, some may be from the 17th century.

Topiaries

Topiaries have been shaped by the owners. Notice how they are waving toward the house.

Tree

Local woodcarvers have carved an old tree trunk into this fanciful design beside the house.

Peacock

A stately peacock is necessary for a stately home. We fed him bits of bread from our lunch.

Snowdrops

Snowdrops in the woods

The woods were filled with snowdrops. Our little one led the way on paths through them, asking at each intersection, “Which way?” Later, when we asked him what his favorite part of the day was, he chose this part.

We found many snowdrops in England.  No snow.

Photographs are by Evelyn and Del Weliver.

I will do some more posts from this trip in a few days. Cornwall and Bodmin Moor will probably be next.

 

  • Vivian McCallum

    Great photographs! Thanks for a glimpse into a place I’d love to visit!

  • GenePH

    If you meet Hercule Poirot on that train, you know there has been some trouble. Enjoyed your tour.

  • CathyStripeLester

    I enjoyed your pictures. When I lived for about 15 years in Cornwall, I found that thanks to the Gulf Stream, English winters are a lot milder and shorter than those in Michigan. However, I have to say that when you live there, you get tired of the dank, and the rain, and the wind, and the drafty homes! Cornwall, especially, has a lot of wind, so be prepared! I’ll be interested to see what you find there!

    And I hope you get farther into Cornwall than Bodmin Moor. The South Coast has wonderful picturesque little fishing villages, the North Coast has spectacular cliffs and surf, Falmouth has a wealth of Naval history, and St. Ives is an artists’/potters’ haven. There are a huge number of big gardens open to the public, but at this time of year people’s front gardens will be coming into their best, too. You can stroll down a typical street and see wonderful floral plantings at home after home. I always had a theory that the British climate is just good enough to grow a lot of stuff and just bad enough that when a good day came along, people were so eager to get outside they’d think, “Gotta get out! What can I do? Oh, the garden, right!”

    • Evelyn

      Dear Readers: I am very pleased that you have enjoyed the posting about England. I’m working on the one for Cornwall. Kathy, that must have been quite lovely to have lived in Cornwall! In previous visits we have seen some of the places you mention and enjoyed them very much. There is certainly a lot to see and do there. You must have had some great walks in the summer, too!

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