Discovering a hidden haven in the Latrobe Valley, Victoria, Australia

Gardens, what gardens?

I’ve recently returned from my trip to the UK (and the tiniest of peeks at France and Germany) and I’m left wondering if I’ve got the eye of a gardener at all.

Why? Well, I did expect to come home with lots of photos to share of quintessential English gardens, but what I came home with was this…

A seven spot ladybird

and this…

Still trying to find out exactly who we have here, anyone know?

My daughter and I spent one morning in Scotland on a wooded hillside doing nothing but hunting for beetles and butterflies. We had no luck finding the local rare butterfly, but we had great fun searching and we sure found plenty of beetles and bugs. There is nothing like looking for something small and delicate to make you really look at your surroundings and I think that morning will stay etched very deeply in both our memories.

oh and there was this one…

A bumblebee in Hyde Park...we've got LOTS of bumblebee photos!

and this too (look it’s got flowers in it!)…

Travelling as I was with my family, there was only ever going to be a certain tolerance for visiting stately gardens, but I surprised myself by not even being particularly motivated to find a couple of hours here or there to take off to visit one. Which I acknowledge was a bit of a shame on reflection. But what captured my imagination was the wildlife, from the tiniest little creature to the…well, there were no particularly big creatures to be found, unless you count those atย  the Natural History Museum or the spider in the bedroom at our accommodation in Bath.

Oh and there were these, but I’m not sure if they are quite the point either.

Bluebells by a woodland pathway in Cornwall

A wooded pathway just out of Cerne Abbas

Along with the tiny creatures it was the beauty of the hedgerows, the naturalised bluebell forests and quiet woodlands that really captured my imagination, not the formal gardens. I’m quite disappointed that I arrived home to discover that I hadn’t actually taken a picture of a hedgerow. A beetle on a flower in a hedgerow perhaps, but not an actual hedgerow. Which is a terrible shame as we were there just at the right time to be going past hedgerows absolutely bursting with wildflowers and all the birds and little creatures that make their homes amongst them. It was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

Oh dear, I’m making myselfย  feel terribly wistful, I best be off and see what can be done with my mid-winter garden!

Happy gardening,



Comments on: "Gardens, what gardens?" (11)

  1. Welcome back Heidi! Your last photograph makes me want to set off for a hike. This is the sort of trip I’d do. I like formal gardens, but they often feel rigid and contrived. I’m always more relaxed in the woods, in Nature’s garden (probably why we live in the woods). I used to spend hours as a child walking along canal banks, flipping over logs and rocks, staring at lady birds and butterflies. It looks like you still managed to see some lovely flowers though…Ceanothus, daisies, and bluebells. As for the hedgerow photos…well…you’ll just have to go back! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hello Clare!
      I could happily go back again and again, don’t tempt me!
      I’d visit lots more woods and lots more wild places (I think I’d enjoy your company flipping over logs and rocks looking for bugs ๐Ÿ™‚ ), but I think I’d also make sure I popped in to see at least a couple of formal gardens too!

  2. What a wonderful trip! I would love to walk in your shoes down the wooded pathways and along the hedgerows. And the bluebell forests! That must have been heavenly. Large formal gardens are often crowded and missing the peaceful feeling your photos portray.

    • Hello Deborah ๐Ÿ™‚ It truly was wonderful to walk down those woodland paths, really feeling like I was in nature’s own garden – I wish I could capture the feeling forever!

  3. HI Heidi: Good to see you, glad you enjoyed your trip. Welcome back to the wonderful world of Garden Blogging.

    Have a wonderful day,

  4. Glad you had such an amazing time. I lived in England for two years, did not make it to very many stately gardens, always to many other things to do, and the husband not a fan anyway. Love the bluebells, want a blubell wood at KG one day.

    • Hello Deborah, a think a bluebell forest at KG would be just wonderful! You will have to make sure you take pictures when the day comes so I can imagine I am strolling in the bluebell woods ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Welcome back, Heidi; it looks as though your trip was delightful. Although I do enjoy visiting the more formal gardens of England and Europe, my own North American style of gardening is much more about blending gardens and wildlands than in setting them apart. The bluebells along the woodland path are as beautiful as any formal garden.

    • Hello Jean and thanks for the warm welcome back! If I’d made it to the more formal gardens I’m sure I would have very much enjoyed them too, but it was interesting to discover that I was totally distracted by nature taking her own course in the landscape!

  6. Ah, glad to see you! I would love to have spent some time in those woods. They look rather idyllic.

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