Today Karin and I took a drive up to Birmingham to visit my daughter Ellen, who is studying applied performance and community theatre at Birmingham School of Acting. After picking her up we went for lunch at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Now, I’m a bit of a botanic gardens collector; I love visiting them, and keep a life list of those I’ve visited and a wish list of those I’d like to visit. So I was sure I had been to the Botanical Gardens as a PhD student during a British Ecological Society conference at the University of Birmingham. But when we arrived there I had no recollection of the glasshouses or the layout, it was not familiar at all. Odd how the memory plays tricks, one way or another.
I can recommend a visit, though – the Gardens looked stunning even this early in the season; lots of plants in flower and even a buzzard circling low overhead. It being Spiral Sunday, of course, I was seeing spirals everywhere; in the unfurling fronds of a tree fern (Blechnum gibbum):
On a cast iron garden seat:
In the flowers of a variety of camellia:
In the leaves and flower cones of Banksia grandis:
And in the design of a sun hat in the Gardens shop: