Sunday, 19 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 19

The colour of springtime is in the flowers, the colour of 
winter is in the imagination.
Ward Elliot Hour

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Friday, 17 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 17

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
Aaron Rose

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 16

Winter is the time for comfort - it is the time for home.
Edith Sitwell

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 15

Photograph taken at Sussex Prairies
Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening and even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.
Vincent Simeone

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 14

Photograph taken at Sussex Prairies
People don't notice whether it's summer or winter when they're happy.
Anton Checkov

Monday, 13 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 13

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.
Victor Hugo

For garden visit ideas click here

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Winter celebrations - January 12

There are so few gardens to visit at this time of year and the ground here in England is so waterlogged after weeks of rain that it's virtually impossible to work in the garden or walk in those that are open, so for the next seven days, I'm going to celebrate winter with a series of photographs that depict the slowly lengthening days in January.

For garden visits click here

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Take the walkway to heaven this winter at Cornwall's Eden Project

The Eden Project covers an area equivalent to 35 football pitches
When news of Cornwall's ambitious new Eden Project began to appear in newspapers and on television screens in the late 1990s, it sparked considerable public interest, although many said that the ambitious £140 million venture, funded partially by the Millennium Commission, was doomed to fail. The visitor centre opened in 2000 so the public could see what all the fuss was about while the former china clay pit was being converted into a horticultural Mecca. In March 2001 the whole site opened and in its first year of operation, more than two million visitors walked through the door.
There are eight different sized biomes at Eden, constructed of steel and EFTE windows

Eden is unique. It was the brainchild of Tim Smit who spent many years restoring the nearby Lost Gardens of Heligan. It comprises eight interlinked biomes of various different sizes - huge transparent greenhouses made of Ethylenetetrafluorothylenecopolymer (EFTE for those of us who flinch at the spelling and pronunciation). They are non stick, self-cleaning and transmit UV light. But most importantly, they provide an ideal environment for the specially-selected plants and crops growing inside, none of which would normally survive the English climate.
Visitors climbing the steps to the aerial platform in the Rainforest Biome
Head for the Rainforest Biome if you want a real adventure and climb the steps (above) to the suspended aerial platform near the top of the dome for a bird's eye view of the crops and plants below including tropical exotics like chocolate, coffee, rubber and spices. Definitely not for the feint-hearted as it gets more hot and humid the higher you climb. But well worth it when you get the chance to look down on the huge variety of plants growing beneath you.
The aerial platform is new to the Rainforest biome - giving a bird's eye view of what's growing below
The Mediterranean Biome is very different in character - far less steamy for starters and filled with native plants from wild landscapes in the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. It is here you can expect to see proteas in flower when the season is right and have the chance to explore the relationship between man and the landscape, as he has learned to cultivate crops that flourish in a warm, temperate climate. 
Expect to see many exotic plants in the Mediterranean Biome at Eden
Eden is an experience, designed to educate and engage visitors in the plant world. Its mission is "to promote the understanding and responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources leading to a sustainable future for all." It certainly makes for an interesting day out, and although admission charges are high (£23.50 for adults and £13.50 for children) your entrance fee covers you for re-admission for a year, so well worth the price if you are able to return throughout the seasons. If you can buy your tickets online, you'll save 15%.