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Their Indian Bean Tree

A day off work and I’ve woken up to clear blue skies – fantastic because I’m shortly setting off with my friend Liz and 35 other WI members for a day out at the Cambridge Botanical Gardens. Even if it had been raining we would still be looking forward to it.

We are seated and belted up and chatting about what we will see when we get there. Liz reminds me of the wonderful tree we saw last time we visited the gardens, the ‘Prunus serrula’ – where I had found Liz mesmerised by the wonderful deep mahogany red satiny trunk.

After arriving at the gardens – imagine 35 WI members let loose in 40 acres of landscaped gardens, but to start with we all headed to the coffee shop. Liz has popped off to get some refreshments leaving me to put pen to paper to report our findings so far. There are so many sights pleasing to the eye – the wonderful borders ablaze with colour, beautifully attended and such a palette of colour. “Liz… come back quickly with the coffee I’m getting a little carried away with the beauty that is surrounding me”. The Cornflowers are playing hide and seek in the gentle breeze with the beautiful red Poppies and the Larkspur.

The scented gardens were a joy with the ever loved Lavender and herbs. Another wonderful display was the intense coloured sprays of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’.

As we leisurely made our way around the gardens – so much to see and so many ‘I want in my own garden’ – the Platycode grandiflora with its beautiful blue balloon-shaped flowers. The Acanthus spinosus with racemes of white flowers with purple coloured bracts. One amazing flower is the Agapanthus (African Lily) with its wonderful blue-purple colours producing wonderful balls of colour.

I was so intrigued to find the Indian Bean (Catalpa speciosa) as I have one growing in my own garden.

Here are 2 pictures – theirs and mine and yes I can hold my head up high – mine is a specimen to be equally proud of with its beautiful orchid-like, trumpet-shaped blossom and large heart-shaped green leaves.  They are very large trees but they can be kept trimmed to a smaller tree more ideal for the smaller garden. An advantage of this tree is that it deters mosquitoes and flies.

The glasshouse range was also of interest with its many plants. I loved the Alpine House with its cute little flowers. The Tropical Rainforests house with its flamboyant orchids, passion flowers – so many vibrant colours.

With just so much to see and enjoy the gardens are well worth a visit. We are now back on the coach and heading for the 2nd therapy session for the day – Lunch in Cambridge followed by shopping. We no longer have clear blue skies so it looks as if we will have to stay ensconced in the shops – shame!

Back in our own town of Spalding and a good way to round off a perfect day is supper at the local ‘Fish & Chip’ shop – “Liz don’t forget to order the mushy peas”!

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