Burnham Beeches

This afternoon I visited Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire.

Sculptural forms at Kew Gardens in London

I visited the botanical gardens in Kew, London, today. I only stayed a couple of hours as the sky was heavy with the threat of rain. The gardens are currently hosting giant blown glass sculptures by American artist Dale Chihuly. I didn’t expect to enjoy them, I assumed they’d all be medium-sized and clustered in…

A fine old English oak

With the Tree of the Year awards still in mind, I asked a friend to tell me if there were any large, old trees in her locality. “Of course, but I have a lovely 200-year-old English Oak in my garden.” “What? You do?” “It’s older than my house. It’s an old farmer’s field boundary tree.”…

Bodnant Garden

Do you love gardens and plan on visiting Britain? Try to include Bodnant Garden on your itinerary. Sixty-five miles from Liverpool and thirty miles from Snowdon, the garden is surrounded by beautiful countryside and deserves at least half a day of your time. Its eighty acres include meadowland, formal gardens, extensive woodland and ponds. The…

Valle Crucis near Llangollen in North Wales

Last week I visited Valle Crucis, a 13th-century Cistercian abbey in North Wales. The religious community was dissolved in the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII in the 15th century. It’s a beautiful site. Surviving features include the abbey fishpond, vaulting on the chapter house ceiling, weather worn tracery around some doors, steps leading…

Will I find my tree of the year?

I’ve been looking for a tree to nominate for the Tree of the Year award. All trees in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are eligible. The nomination deadline is noon on 19th July, 2019. Winning trees in previous years have been magnificent. In 2014 the English winner was the Major Oak in Nottinghamshire. Thought…

Madam Secretary and Climate Change

Madam Secretary is an American drama series about a US secretary of state, her colleagues and her family. It’s also a force for good in raising climate change awareness. Tea Leoni plays Elizabeth McCord, a former CIA analyst who becomes foreign secretary after her old CIA boss enters the Oval Office. Each episode of the…