JOYFUL GRATITUDE #74
Nothing like a quiet Friday afternoon in the Botanic Garden to slow down and bring my attention fully back to the present moment. I am grateful that my dear friend Eva joined me today (we have a history of visiting other botanic gardens together, spending hours exploring the Hortus which is just around the corner of her house in Leiden and also on a trip to Glasgow:).
We had a great time in the warm green-houses, observing the succulents, cacti and other plants, pointing out to each other many amazing details from the wide collection and getting inspired by the colours and patterns.
Recently I found out that there is another botanical garden in Amsterdam and it’s less than a 10 minute bike away from my flat! So on one of my free Friday afternoons, in between 2 rain showers, I decided to go and check it out.
It’s free and you can just walk in, while volunteers mill around doing their thing. It’s a lovely place to relax and you don’t feel at all like you are close to the busy Zuidas.
The collection of succulents and cacti both in and around the glasshouses is spectacular, with hundreds of different species in every single available space.
Observing all the different plants, with their details and colours was a real pleasure as usual. There were very few visitors so I was undisturbed as I got in close to photograph the details. I think I’ll be heading back there soon for some more inspiration:)
Check out Botanic Garden Zuidas for the opening times (it’s near the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam Zuid).
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #27
When I saw these tiny succulents it totally made my day! Looks like they are having an awesome party, dancing away and throwing their hands up in the air, like they just don’t care!
A few years back I took a photo course and the field trip consisted in spending an afternoon taking photos at the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam of plants and butterflies. My favorite section was of course the desert greenhouse with the cacti and succulents.
It was so much fun to look so close up at the plants and see their amazing details and patterns. I loved observing these gorgeous little flowers with such beautiful pastel colours.
The texture of these velvety purple leaves was amazing and a challenge to try and capture on camera.
I remember being so focussed on the details, I was totally in the flow and didn’t feel time pass by. I think I will schedule another excursion there soon.
In 2014 during our trip to Glasgow, Eva and I explored the beautiful Botanic Gardens and enjoyed being surrounded by colourful tropical plants while it was grey outside.
We spent several hours discovering the glasshouses, in particular the Kibble Palace, a huge 19th century wrought iron glasshouse which is amazingly beautiful.
As we wandered around, taking our time and snapping lots of pictures of the gorgeous plants, a gardener came up to us. He indicated a plant and told us with his thick Scottish accent to take a closer… He was pointing to a tiny camouflaged stick-insect which we would never have spotted (not featured here;).
I love botanical gardens (this should not really come as a surprise given the nature (literally) of this blog). But I was not prepared for how excited I would be about the Botanical gardens in Funchal.
Since the island has quite a tropical climate, the botanical gardens have a huge section dedicated just to succulents and cacti which is simply outdoors, with the plants growing directly in the ground.
The best thing was that we went at the end of the afternoon, near closing time and by the end of our visit we were all alone in the gardens. It was wonderful to be free to observe all the plants at our leisure, in the warm light of the magic-hour sun.
There were so many different species, I walked around several times to try and see it all. I couldn’t get enough of the amazing colours and details. Like the symmetry of the plant above, and like these little red spikes all along the outside of the leaves of the plant hereunder.
Or this little guy below who looks to me like a monster’s paw with many tiny claws on it. It’s fascinating how so much colour can just emerges from a stump that looks grey and dried-up…