Thursday, March 24, 2011

Daffodil Weekend – 19 – 20 March 2011

Lesnes Abbey in East London, has an area of ancient woodland, where wild daffodils flourish every spring. Saturday was such a glorious day, that we would have expected plenty of people to be there enjoying these wonderful woods, but the marketing hype calling it “a hidden treasure in the heart of suburban London”, was proved to be correct.

The area is just one of many beautiful and tranquil spots with loads of history. The Abbey was built by Sir Richard De Luci, chief justice to Henry II, probably as penance for his involvement in the murder of Thomas a Becket. Now a ruin, with high-rise blocks on the skyline behind, the abbey is at the foot of hills where the wild daffodils are a lovely glimpse into how woodlands used to be.

While is East London, we decided to travel north to the other side of the Thames, and check out the Olympic Park. Near Pudding Mill Lane station, is a viewing platform with the grand name of Viewtube. The stadium is looking good, and nearly ready to go, with the red ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower one-third built, and the velodrome behind.

On Sunday we visited the RHS gardens in Wisley, to use our new annual pass. The early daffodils are coming out there, with many varieties still a long way off opening.

The laboratory and lecture rooms building was built in 1916 to look like a country home. We were fooled by it, until we read the history of the building.

The gardens were interesting, even this early in the spring, it will be a pleasure to keep visiting through the summer. The Royal Horticultural Society should be the experts at the iconic English country garden.

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