The Gardens Around the Corner

It’s the places right around the corner from you that you never get around to visiting. While living in New York, I always meant to go to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building but I never did. Whenever a free weekend came around I found myself lounging on the sofa with a cup of hot tea thinking I would go next weekend.
Yesterday I finally made the effort to go to the Durham Botanic Gardens which are quite literally at the end of the street from where I’ve been living for ten months. I could kick myself for not walking through those gates sooner.
I had been back in England for less than a day. I spent most of the morning sleeping away the jet lag and the rest of the morning getting ready to head to the Science Site to pick up the results of my last paper. I packed my backpack with my CrossFit gear since I planned to take the five o’clock class and began the walk into town.

It was a gorgeous day. Sunny with white fluffy clouds in the sky and a swift breeze. As I neared the familiar gates to the Botanic Gardens once again I had the thought, You really need to go there soon. You’re running out of time. I glanced at my phone and saw that I had loads of time before I needed to catch the bus to CrossFit. I made the turn into the gardens and lost myself in nature for the next two hours.

I love visiting gardens. There is a really impressive botanical garden two hours from my house in the States that I go to as often as I can. As I began walking down the shaded pathways and through the open meadows, I soon forgot much of my cares. While being home was lovely, it had been a bit stressful. My luggage had been delayed for five days, there was the normal stress from being in a wedding and wanting things to go well for my friends, balancing the need to relax with the need to see as many people as possible, and the knowledge that I would be going back to this reality all too soon permanently. What worried me the most was that while I was in the US, England and my life here had felt very much like a dream. All of these thoughts faded into the background as I wandered through bamboo groves and tall grassy meadows. It was just me and the sounds of the birds and the breeze through the leaves.

This was the first path I followed from the gate.

I told you it was a gorgeous day.

I saw two of these make shift shelters on my walk.

The Botanic Gardens have so many picnic tables and benches.
It’s the perfect place for a picnic.

Also, bug hotel.

More beautiful pathways sheltered by trees.

The bamboo grove

Some major fungus at work on this stump.

There are plenty of footbridges throughout the gardens.

This guy was completely hidden and I almost missed him.

No idea what the numbers mean but they interested me.

The meadows

Goats and Sheep and Stuff….well it is a farm.

Here’s the second shelter

Sunlight through the trees

In Memorium

This is a sculpture made by a maharaja and the shadow looks like a Dalek

The cafe

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