Arty journeys...


Friday, 16 October 2015

Colourful walk - Coombe Wood

It took quite a while for me to get going this morning - I almost didn't go for my walk . . . almost

It was dull, grey and slightly drizzly this morning. Armed with my big umbrella which fortunately wasn't needed as an umbrella (but was very useful as a walking stick) I headed to Coombe Wood

The gardener was planting the beautifully prepared flower beds

The weeping willow has been shedding leaves into the pond. One of the big fish was reversing away from the edge of the pond, gliding gracefully backwards under the leafy covering

Around the corner a cascade of narrow pale yellow, orange, red and green leaves grabbed my attention - a beautiful sight which was accompanied by loud bird song coming from close by

The strawberry tree fruits are blushing redder and redder every time I visit - I couldn't resist another photo

Just past the fence above the cafe courtyard I heard voices. Approaching the prairie beds I found out who the voices belonged to - it was Tec the gardener with a lady who he introduced me to - Alison from the Council, who is Tec's main link with the Council department

Tec mentioned that the banana tree would be covered soon to protect it from frost. Perhaps this might be my last glimpse of the banana flower. It's a shame - I would have liked to see what it does next

The leaves on the palm next to the banana tree were rattling noisily in the breeze

I understand that as well as the memorial benches at Coombe Wood there are also memorial trees and this is a new one which has just gone in - an acer palmatum. Sadly I have already forgotten which variety

It has often occurred to me that if Tec the gardener ever reads my blog he will find all sorts of nonsense on here - misidentified plants, muddled names etc. Just when I think I have at last identified something I discover that I am wrong

Well at least I am pretty sure that this one is an acer. It's a little burgundy leafed one growing underneath a bigger green one that I often photograph. The little winged seeds on this one were lightly tinged with pink before but are now turning a much darker colour

Someone has left some small branches and a strange shaped twist of wood on the stump that has been cut like a seat. The one on top looked like a sculpture on a plinth

Photographed from a different angle - an older red acer in front of the new green one which will be turning orange-red soon

Back to the prairie bed and a closer look at what's left on this flower spike after most of the petals have been shed. A fascinating structure which I have previously referred to as fluffy ring doughnuts threaded onto a stick

One of the black cats joined me as I wandered on the paths among the prairie plants

These tall plants rattled and reminded me of the film "Field of Dreams"

Various things remind me fragments from books and films as I walk in Coombe Woods - usually children's books like Secret Garden, Tom's Midnight Garden, Moondial and various Narnia connections

Progress is being made on the roof repairs of the toilet block

At the far end of one of the wide borders either side of the lawn there are some bright little flowers which made me think of Japanese flower arranging because of the crescent of colour that their flowers have formed

Heading back to the entrance - strong purply blue and darker blue

Delicate seed heads

Neat rows of new plants - the gardener has been working very hard

More trays of plants ready to be put in 

Iris seeds by the gate

Leaves have fallen on the amazing display of cyclamens

Plenty more curled stems pushing up through the leaves

Thank you very much for joining me


  1. The little cyclamens are gorgeous esp with the red leaves
    I tried one of the strawberry tree fruits from our garden, i picked a really ripe one, it was better than last time I tried one, sweetish but not amazing. I wonder whether they would dye cloth.

    1. Thank you Tessa. I've read that the fruit of the strawberry tree taste a bit like figs and that some people find them quite bland. There are things online about dyeing with the leaves or bark - I haven't looked further to see if you can dye fabric with the fruits though.

  2. I love the strawberry tree too, it looks wonderful.

    1. Thank you Helen.I'd never noticed these before this autumn. It's really like a treasure hunt going to Coombe Wood and noticing the details. I'm sure you find the same when you go to Kew.