On 26th March 2021, I went with my friend Jill to Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. At this time of year, the start of spring, there are surprisingly lots of shrubs and trees in gorgeous colour. Some have lovely perfume too.
Walking in the gate, we immediately went past three magnolia trees. One had beautiful large open pink flowers and two others were rose pink and white. Magnolias originated from prehistoric times and their upturned cups of flowers were designed to be pollinated by beetles.
Further along the path, past the rock garden and lake, to the main lawn, we were stunned by the sight of a Japanese flowering cherry. It was in full bloom of frothy white candy floss petals. It was truly spectacular. It made my heart sing with its beauty. The Japanese have a Spring holiday and sit underneath these trees with a picnic. On a nice day, I can see why.
After buying g a cup of tea for Jill, and a coffee for me, we walked through the Winter garden. Heather and pink daphne greeted us. The purple bells of the heather lifted us even more and was coupled by the scent from the daphne flowers. Bergenia, or Elephant Ears, lined the path and hellebores, and woody shrubs, like Viburnum did their thing, the flowers drinking in the early Spring sunshine.
There are many trees with catkins drooping on either side of the many paths. An arboretum of pines, oaks, redwoods and others. All fine mature specimens. And island flower beds with perennial plant shoots just pushing through. The systematic beds, with plants grouped according to their families, were bare now but will be full of flowers by summer.
There is so much interest here. Our ticket was for the whole day, but we were only here for the afternoon. Even if you only have a passing interest in plants, you will be amazed and entertained. Children too can run around the lawns, families can sit with a picnic, and lovers stare into each other's eyes in a perfect setting, so close to the historic city.
There are arid and tropical greenhouses, and an educational walkway and play area. The glasshouse is currently being renovated and are covered with scaffolding.
We had a lovely afternoon out, so if you ever visit this university town, leave time and head for these gardens. They are like an oasis in a bustling city. A place of peace, to listen to birds sing and recharge your batteries. I recommend it.