After such a wet and soggy winter, here in the UK we’ve been enjoying some lovely bright days. It’s been getting the Joneses into a holiday mood and sent us scurrying for the brochures and checking out online deals. While it’s exciting planning trips to pastures new, recently I was reminded how easy it is to overlook the treasures to be found on our own doorstep.
Between our holiday planning we’ve had our favourite little lodger back to stay. Guide dog puppy Ushi, is a gorgeous flat coat retriever and is now just one year old. We’ve been boarding her on and off since she was six months old, which has been plenty of time to fall head over heels for she of the bewitching eyes and mischievous ways.
On Ushi’s last visit she’d just been spayed, which meant no free runs and only short lead walks. But after a few days she was raring to go, so on a particularly gorgeous day we took her out in the car to give her a change of scene. A short drive away from us is the Georgian City of Bath and its Royal Victoria Park. The Park has been around since the early nineteenth century when, in 1830, it was officially opened by the young Princess Victoria. Apparently, Bath’s Royal Victoria Park was the very first to carry her name. (As a side note, the future Queen of England wasn’t a particular admirer of Bath and used to have the curtains of her train carriage closed when passing through the city. It is said she came to dislike the city after a Bath writer insulted her.)
The Park has beautiful botanical gardens which, shame on us, we rarely visit. They were formed in 1887 and are said to contain one of the finest collections of plants on limestone in the West of England. We thought it would be a nice place for Ushi as she’d enjoy all the different scents and smells. Once inside the gate, the scenery took my breath away. Cherry blossom all over the place. I love trees and find something really fascinating in their shape and texture. Every tree in the gardens was as if someone had shaped them carefully to enhance their surroundings.
Near one of the entrances is a replica of a Roman Temple, the Temple of Minerva was constructed at Wembley in 1924 for the British Empire Exhibition, and rebuilt in the Botanic Gardens in 1926.
The local Women’s Institute have a community garden within the Park which is made entirely of edible plants and flowers, the idea being to inspire people to plant edibles that are not only useful but also beautiful. The lady in the bath is a pretty fun exhibit and is based on the Bath WI logo.
Happily, all three of us enjoyed our outing and shortly after this photo was taken (and a cream tea for us and chewy bone for Ushi, plus a lot of attention from fellow cafe patrons), we headed back home with a very contented and, sleepy, pup. Happy Days!