Robin's Space

















Cambridge Botanic Gardens

May 7, 2005 - While Paul was in the US at the 40th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan Univ, I went on a photo expedition to the Cambridge Botanic Gardens.

The Cambridge Botanic Gardens are really quite impressive. They were started in the nineteenth century and first opened to the public in 1846. The gardens are an excellent place to wander (there are about 40 acres of gardens) and there are strategically placed benches everywhere. For sitting, I do recommend staying away from the edges of the garden, because it is bordered on two sides by busy roads, but there are plenty of birdsongs to cover up the noise.

I wandered about the gardens for about two and a half hours, sat out one rainstorm and got completely drenched on my way back into town by a rain and slush (yes, really - icy stuff) storm. But as you can see from the pictures, when it wasn't raining, it was a beautiful day, if a bit chilly and windy.

The one thing I can't figure out is why they're called the "botanic" gardens and not the "botanical" gardens, since they normally like to add endings to words (e.g. "academical" term, instead of "academic" term... cheating in scrabble?).

I admit I don't have the names of all of the plants I photographed, but you can read more about the Botanic gardens on their website:


  A willow in the lake garden  Part of the stream garden  Another stream in the rock garden 
It didn't take long before I started wandering onto the paths from the main paved walk. There are several water gardens in the Botanic Garden.

Looking back at the stream in the rock garden  Bright blue flowers  Bright colored pansies 
There were lots of bright colors to see.

Yellow flowers in the Alpine garden  White flowers in the Alpine garden  Blue sky and White flowers in the Alpine garden  Purple flowers in the Alpine garden 
I rather liked the Alpine garden. There are lots of colors, water, and stones.

Looking at the sky towards the Glass houses  The Glass houses at the Botanic Garden  An orchid in the glass house  The jade vine in the glass house 
The glass houses at the Botanic gardens are really neat. They were built in the nineteenth century (they've been kept up well) and have an old fashioned feel to them.

A bright tropical vine in the glass house  A cork oak tree  A cork oak tree  A shady cedar tree 
This bright vine was also in the glass house. Outside the glass house, I came across this cork tree and it made me think about the story of Ferdinand the Bull. There are a lot of nice, shady cedar trees in the gardens.

The fountain on the main walk  A pink flower in the dry garden  A japanese flowering tree  A lacy meadow 
After the glass house I went to the picnic area to eat my lunch. I was eating the last bite of my sandwich when the skies opened up and poured down. I ducked into the tea room until the rain stopped a few minutes later. As you can see from the tulips by the fountain, it was still pretty windy when it cleared up. I next visited the 'dry garden', which wasn't. (It's a garden of plants that don't require any watering by the gardeners.) Then I wandered around through the trees and meadows.

A white flowering tree  A white flowering tree  Blue flowers in the systematic garden  Blue flowers in the systematic garden 
After walking past flowering trees, I wandered through the systematic garden. This garden is laid out by species, like plants in a botany book.

A yucca plant in the systematic garden  The entrance to the gardens and the Issac Newton Apple tree  Dark skies 
I had to take a picture of the yucca plant because it looked so out of place. The next pictures are looking towards the entrance as I was going out to brave the storm. The apple tree on the left is called the Issac Newton apple tree, because it is a genetic descendant of the apple tree of legend at Newton's Woolthorpe Manor (the original tree died in the nineteenth century).

7 May 2005