The blog is delayed until today (Tue 15 April) from last week as we were on holiday in the London area from Wednesday to Monday. We stayed in the pretty village of Thames Ditton. We were staying with relatives and in their back garden, the camellia tree was in full bloom. As the weather is milder in the south east of England, camellia trees grow extensively in gardens, whereas they are much rarer in the colder south east of Scotland where I live. I took photos of a bed of leaves which lay under the tree and my photographer’s luck was in, as a whole flower had fallen to sit in the middle of the spread of leaves, which lay as if waiting for a fairy princess to lie down in the pink softness. The 2nd and 3rd photos below show a single and a double camellia flower.
The day after arriving, we went for a walk to Hampton Court, via East Molesey. We walked along the river, past the well known Molesey Lock, which was built to allow large vessels to sail the river Thames. As you walk along the river, you see a variety of houseboats, some very narrow and some much larger. I took the photo below of a larger boathouse, as it was beautifully reflected in the river. Further along, we passed a cherry tree in full blossom, with the flowers being a very similar colour to the camellia tree - see next photo.
On to Hampton Court itself, with its magnificent buildings and barley sugar chimneys – see here for a blog report on a previous visit, showing the chimneys. While all the daffodils had passed their best and were looking like weary revellers going home after an all-night bacchanalian party, the tulips were standing proud and there were many varieties on show. The final 2 photos show a bed of tulips and other flowers and another bed next to the gates of Hampton Court. From there, we went on to Bushy Park, a wide expanse of grass and trees, and you can see where the avenues were created in the times when Henry the Eighth went hunting there. There are still herds of deer in the park and they often lie in the grass quite near the footpaths which transverse the park.