The kids and I had a mini-outing today. As part of my new obsession with seeing as many plants and gardens as I can, we finally made it to Harcourt Arboretum. It’s on the outskirts of Oxford, and part of the University’s Botanical garden, and one I’ve wanted to see. I gave up waiting for the perfect sunny day-and decided that my new philosophy shall be: ‘we go any where, so long as it’s not raining cats and dogs’. This seems a much better philosophy to have while living here. I really must force myself to get used to the greyness. I still equate greyness with really rainy days, not with days on end of grey before a small, soft shower.

Anyway, off we went-and enjoyed the snippets of sun while having a lovely stroll. The arboretum is not huge, the tree selection isn’t the largest in the world, but we enjoyed it very much. Hazel seemed to fall in love with it as soon as we got into the woody bits, and Kieran as usual loved that there were so many sticks on the ground and enough room to run with them. I think they also liked that the paths wound round the woodland-and even Hazel commented on she just didn’t know what was round the next bend. You should have heard the gasp when she saw the main section of the bluebell woodland meadow-priceless. We will definitely be going back.

Here are a few photos from the day:


First glimpse of some bluebells


I really enjoy the texture and lines of this bark.


What’s next?


These next three are by Hazel. She had to be very patient and wait for the wind to die down to take the photo of the bluebell. I think her patience was well paid!




When we were in the centre of the bluebell woodland-this is what caught my eye. I asked the kids what they thought was my favourite bit. Kieran took a one second survey and decided it was this tree. My little guy knows me so well.


‘Stickboy’ taken by Hazel


Just because it’s yellow and I loved it.


Peacock (like you didn’t know!) Kieran perfected the peacock call today-he actually made Hazel and I look for the peacock when he made the sound! He was also very fortunate, in his book anyway, to find one of the brown feathers from the peacock.


Another photo was taken at home. Kieran found the robins nest in one of our trees. He didn’t realize it was a nest at first-he was wondering how the moss got into the tree! He was very excited, but ran and put it right back. We haven’t seen the robins for a few weeks, so think they might have moved on.


I thought this was all a lovely way to spend our 8th wedding anniversary-but would have been a zillion times better if Michael hadn’t needed to go to work!

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