The scorching weekdays have given way to a rain sodden windy weekend. Still the weather forecast seemed to predict a not too bad Sunday. This time it was one of the Royal Horticulture society’s gardens In Chelmsford that we decided to visit. Lakshmi was in full form. Singing aloud to her hearts content, trying to get Winnie involved. Winnie dutifully joined in, waving her arms and swaying along to the words and pitching in at points where she knew the words to the nursery rhymes. “London Bridge is falling down” Lakshmi crooned, “my First Lady”. It is not first, it is fair, I corrected. Then listening to her carry on the next verse, I thought maybe ‘first’, maybe the more appropriate word. If you need to get the bridge fixed, probably it is a job for the ‘first’ lady.
We were prepared for a warm day, but not a windy one, especially in an open space like the Hyde Hall Garden where there was just acres of land with views of beautiful undulating countryside in the distance and nothing to shield us from the winds. Once again the children ran around adding to their bruises and scars. Laughter and squeals punctuated by bursts of tears followed the occasional falls on the unforgiving gravel paths connecting the different types of gardens.
The rain which was not forecasted appeared suddenly out of nowhere after lunch. The threatening clouds which I thought was just trying to scare us, started as a drizzle before getting heavier. Everyone scampered to find shelter under the limited jutting roof spaces of the closed restaurants. It was a case of forgetting the two metre rule or getting drenched. Luckily the outbreaks were short lived. The last one of the day abated as we queued to enter the garden centre. I didn’t have plans to buy any plants, but that was before I saw the different colours on display. I had no idea as to what to do with the plants I loaded the trolley with. I didn’t even know if there was space in the car to put them all in. A lovely patient garden centre employee tried to teach me the basics when I stopped and asked her for advice. Her encouraging smile has given me some hope. Let me see if there is a hidden gardener in me bursting to come out. I will need to get my hands dirty first. I made sure I bought a new pair of gardening gloves to help me through that as well.