Arty journeys...


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Two walks (Coombe Wood - Thursday and Friday)

After a rather lengthy appointment at the eye clinic on Thursday morning, when I had the stitches removed from my eye I headed to Coombe Wood to meet a friend I haven't seen for quite a while. I'm still not allowed to drive so I had to go on a bus and two trams and then walk down from the tram stop and was very late and very grateful that my friend was willing to wait. It was lovely to sit and catch up with my friend in the cafe and then have a gentle walk, appreciating the wonderful colours and shapes of nature together.

Neat layers

and unruly riots of colour.

Shades of pink and lilac at the front, orange and red at the back - and a burst of yellow poppies at the top.

A closer look at the yellow poppies. 

Alliums are shooting up just above the some of the tulips and taking over as the tulips are losing their petals.

I can almost taste these orange, lemon yellow and cherry red fruit colours.

New shoots in the prairie beds, pale dry stumps from last year crumbing away now. 

Passing the pink pools of fallen camellias towards the rhododendrons.

Delicate pink with yellow freckles. 

Deeper pinks - so many different shades in one single bloom. 

The scent of the yellow azaleas always hits me before I see them. 

This one is more like a rhododendron tree than a rhododendron bush - dripping in huge flowers. Each cluster would make a fabulous bouquet (but probably wouldn't last long).

Unlike the huge white rhododendrons in the previous photo these pinky-white blossoms are delicate little flowers.

As we walked along the path a brave little robin hopped incredibly close to us and after it flew away we saw an even smaller bird flit across the path. I just caught sight of it out of my un-blurred eye. (The one that had the stitches removed earlier was incredibly blurry.)

More colourful rhododendrons  - pink tinged with peach 

Big short stemmed alliums getting ready to burst open.

A smaller allium - I noticed that part of the bud's outer protective layer is translucent.

Stunning colour. 

Everything is so green now. and soon those borders will be overflowing. The gardener was trimming the edges of the grass.

Tiny rosemary flowers. 

Back to the tulips and some of those allium buds seemed to have grown since we passed earlier. I love these colour combinations.

 Layers of pink with a stripe of green ferns in between. 

Petals wide - almost coming to an end. 

Candelabra primulas - by the pond.  

Swirling fish - a couple broke the surface and made quite a splash.

My friend headed home and I wandered slowly down to the tram stop noticing these yellow flowers on the way - looking a bit like laburnum - but I don't think it is. (I may be wrong - I often get it wrong about plants).

Cow parsley?

Two trams later and I collected my prescription from the chemist before catching a bus home, by which time the local anaesthetic in my eye was wearing off. I had been told that it would feel gritty and my vision would be extra blurred for 24 hours but I hadn't been prepared for the amount of pain I was in. I went out in the evening (I didn't want to miss my friend's baby-shower) wearing sunglasses because my eye was so painful and light sensitive, with both eyes streaming. I was very glad I went - it was such a lovely occasion. When I got home afterwards I went straight to bed. 

After a bad night I woke on Friday morning with my eye feeling more comfortably but I had a headache and my vision was still quite blurry. I wanted a walk in the fresh air but had no energy to get myself anywhere. My sister very kindly came to the rescue, collected me and took me to Coombe Wood where we had a gentle stroll.

These pink tulips were even further open - those petals will have probably all fallen off next time I visit.

A little mushroom. I thought mushrooms were an autumn thing.

Berberis flowers? 

Lovely cascade of tiny acer leaves.

Alliums in the prairie beds (spell-check is telling me I mean valiums). 

While I was looking at the blossom on the Judas trees my sister noticed the little sprouts of buds up the trunk.

Yellow rhododendrons. 

These pink and white ones are amazing with their deep red freckles and tinted edges to their petals.

An extra large buttercup with pointy petals. There were other buttercups nearby that were a more normal size and had rounded petals.

Palm flowers coming out of their protective outer casing.

I hadn't realised that Korean pine leaves grow in a protective casing too (do all leaves do this?) One little cluster is bursting out next to the cone on the left.

White flowers that all stand upright. 

They remind me of lace-cap hydrangeas but last year I think someone told me that's not what they are.

Leaves like arrowheads. I couldn't tell if the lovely markings on the leaves look blurred because it's a blurry pattern or if it's because the photo isn't focused properly - I still can't.

Looking up from underneath the big acer. How quickly the leaves have come out.

Tiny acer flowers hang under the leaves - some are already turning into tiny winged seeds.

Most of these showers of tiny bells are turning brown and falling off now but there are still some that look perfect.

I was grateful that my sister had seen the bee in a flower near the one I was reaching out to touch and told me to be careful. I wouldn't have liked a handful of bee - I don't suppose the bee would have appreciated it either.

A colourful array of rhododendrons. 

I don't know what this tall tree with lilac flowers is (it has very big leaves but they haven't started growing yet) but at least I have found out that the bobbles I'd seen up the tree were buds and not berries.

If I hadn't moved around the tree to get a better look at the lilac coloured flowers I wouldn't have noticed this tiny lacy mushroom nearby. The long green leaves are grass which gives an idea of scale. It is tiny.

Yellow azalea against red rhododendrons.

Different pinks. 

These flowers are very strange. The plant is dripping with them.

To show you the size. 

The top of the Australian Pine is looking very healthy with its new growth. My sister suggested the photo might work well with a tree trunk in the background - I think it did.

Bluebells, pink bells and white bells. 

The winged seeds are more developed on this acer than on the others.

Pink magnolia buds - I thought my sister described the open ones very well when she said they were untidy. The petals splay out at all angles.

In the herbaceous borders there are some plants that are not only protected by a mesh fence but they are also covered with a layer of crisscrossing canes.

Bright tulips losing their petals. 

A cascade of daisies over the retaining walls of the flower beds.

Ragged tulip (fringed hybrid) wide open. 

Yellow poppies. 

Fern curl with a mohican. 

Another look at the tulips - they will soon be gone. 

Different fern curls. 


Gunnera flowers hiding among the plants huge spiky stems and leaves next to the railings.

Thank you very much for joining me. 


  1. wow, what a couple of beautiful walks you had - the journey is a bit of a pain though! I love the pink and purple tulips with the alliums coming through - just like Kew! The lacy mushroom is just beautiful; how lucky you saw it.

    1. Yes it was all very beautiful - and therapeutic!

  2. Such a fantastic array of colours and textures in this post Angela, your third eye, (camera) has captured a wonderful riot of Summer glory! I hope your eye heals soon, and becomes less blurred and more comfortable.

    1. Thank you Cath. The other day I caught up with a programme I'd recorded about photography in which a man described his camera as an extension of his eye - he also said that during long sessions of taking photos he forgets pain hunger etc. Perfect descriptions of how photography is for me too.