Recently, I and a few of my ‘Crafty Coffee’ Friday walking friends went to Hillier Gardens near Romsey.
I didn’t think this could be called an Adventure like many of my previous posts about day’s out as I felt that an Adventure had to have some degree of jeopardy or new discovery and going somewhere with other people, who knew the place well hardly, contains any jeopardy. I even had been there before, although such a long time ago that I didn’t remember the place very well.
Originally the visit had been planned for the previous Friday but Storm Eunice rather scuppered that.
However the delay did mean that we ended up with really glorious weather. Of course brilliant sunshine is not so good for photography, as also being out with other people, but I decided to take my camera and managed to capture something to share with you.
Hillier Gardens had been suggested because two of the party had Season tickets plus spare guest tickets that they were happy to use. So free to the rest of us.
We would share a car and we had all agreed that we would take lateral flow tests before hand so that we could dispense with masks in the car.
I was pleased that my test was negative as I would have been very disappointed to miss it.
and we all gathered to set off.
We parked in the car park.
While waiting for the others to be ready, my attention was captured by the shadows on the grass.
On leaving the car park we walked on to the entrance. On the way we stopped to look at the notice for visitors.
It was amazing all the things that were forbidden!
Luckily we weren’t planning to do any of them.
On the way we saw plantings of snowdrops
Unfortunately you really have to be there to truly appreciate them. A photograph can’t do them justice.
There were lots of different sorts of hellebore.
We were fascinated by this tree. Reminiscent of a silver birch, yet obviously not one.
It turned out to be a Himalayan birch. So not so surprising.
We had started our exploration in the Winter Garden but later went on to explore other areas.
These red stems were all over the place (sometimes more yellow or red).
They had mass planting of daffodils.
These are my favourites: February Gold, though I like them best singly or in looser clumps.
We saw lots of evidence of moles!
I took lots of photographs of the camellias; they are such a beautiful flower.
I was pleased that so many photographs turned out okay as it was tricky to get them in focus with a light breeze blowing.
We saw lots of robins and I even managed to get a half decent photograph of one.
The sun had to be in quite the wrong place of course!
We found a bench in the sun and had a happy time eating our picnic lunches.
In the afternoon the sky became more cloudy.
I had taken various photographs of this art work but thought this one was the best.
Obviously inspired by peacock feathers.
There are quite a few sculptures around the grounds and I had photographed some of the one I saw.
This is a pine cone.
and this I think was inspired by a plant from the carboniferous age.
This one was quite different and based on a story.
It was hard to capture but shows a man (I think) on the back of a stag and some other animal at the side.
There was a plaque.
After lunch I was quite tired and happy just to wander but it was half term and so I took a photograph of a children’s play area full of customers.
Before we left my friends wanted a hot drink and went off to get take-away coffees.
They all smiled happily as I took their photograph.
I think you can say: “a good time was had by all”.