Thames path Kew to Victoria

First walk in ages and a fantastic day for it on Saturday. We met Beloved’s Pater familias at Kew, where we looked at fabulous orchids, then walked the Thames path to Barnes. Pater familias and M left us here while Beloved and I continued along the path to Victoria. 12 miles in total – a good length considering we haven’t walked for a very long time.

kew gardens

 

We were at Kew as the gardens opened to public in glorious sunshine on Saturday morning. Spring in the air (finally!) and snowdrops on the ground (yay!)

snowdrops

 

Also crocus carpets, I do love a carpet of flowers!

crocus carpet

 

Mindful of holding everyone up, I resisted the urge to throw myself on the ground and take lots and lots of crocus close up photos, besides the grass was wet. We were also about to go see the orchids – there’s currently an orchid festival at Kew until 9 March and I was about to take a lot more photos.

orchids

orchids1

orchid display

orchid3

 

Pater familias said that Kew relies on volunteers to help bring the annual festival about, sounds like a marvellous thing to be involved in. There is also a new hybrid orchid Kew created for this year, a speckly fuchsia and white, which you can buy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t carry one with me but wouldn’t mind going back to get it now that I’ve finally learned how to look after orchids. I’d recommend visiting Kew while the orchid displays are still on, although best to do this early in the morning, it was already getting busier as we left.

Leaving Kew Gardens, we walked along the Thames path to Barnes, this stretch of river is lovely and quiet.

tree by thames

 

Barnes itself was busier, we stopped for coffee and at the farmers market where I picked up a couple of apples for sustenance and then continued, on our own towards Hammersmith. We used to live in Hammersmith years ago and haven’t been back to the area much, the riverside in particular has been built up a lot since we moved.

birds on old barge

 

Still, nice to see that not everything has been gentrified. In particular, the stretch around Putney and going into Battersea, the Imperial Wharf on the other side with all the new and newish builds is still completely characterless. Property developers eager to attract custom cover the empty retail units with posters of cappuccino drinkers, romantic looking couples and people with laptops – see, all so multipurpose! They seem very keen on cappuccino drinkers and also on ‘zen’ gardens – every newish development had tiny green spaces that had obviously been landscaped but not in a good way. Nothing nice to look at and even the pint of ale we stopped for at a pub in Putney lacked character. This old power station on the other side was the only interesting building for miles.

old power station

 

We thought about finishing the walk at Battersea bridge and getting the bus back home but decided against this, the last few miles had been fairly depressing looks wise so we thought going past Battersea Park and towards Victoria would at least give us nicer things to look at.

v&a bridge ahead

 

Beloved later said we should have continued onto Vauxhall as Victoria was very busy, as usual with travellers of all sorts. All in all, Saturday was a walk of two halves, from the beauty of Kew Gardens, a quiet and peaceful Thames path to Hammersmith and then the visual assault and the soullessness of the built up stretch of the river. Still, the weather was pretty glorious throughout and we got some much needed exercise.

Magic and mystery continues

Total brain coma this afternoon after too much work so am giving myself a mental break to post pictures from what I think could well be week 7 of orchid watch. Still no bloom but the expectancy of it makes me so happy, tonic for brain coma too:

The size of those buds! Getting very very fat

And not forgetting the baby orchid:

Orchid watch 4.5

More than a month of orchid watch and still no flowering from either the Old Columbia Road or the Baby IKEA orchids. Trying to contain myself and remain patient. Taking pictures as I go:

Old Columbia Road this morning, looking good.

I rather liked the light/dark contrast here and red-ish tint to both photos.

The Baby IKEA orchid inspires different feeling as it’s in a white setting, I kinda like taking pictures with blurred, overemphasised colours. The stem’s certainly grown since last week.

Better visible here. More pics here

Going to be out and about today so hoping to take and post more photos as have been pretty rubbish this week.

 

Week 3.5 of orchid watch

The orchid watch continues. No flowers yet on either but they are coming. Must say, I am growing very excited with anticipation and there has definitely been ‘growth’ this week, see here the ‘Columbia Road’ orchid:

That’s excellent, had to move it around in order to photograph. Have another:

And, not forgetting the ‘baby IKEA’ orchid:

And another, showing the stem tiny bit better:

Chances are, these two are going to flower at the same time. Totally beyond exciting! I wander, what is the most difficult flower you can grow in a pot? If the ‘Columbia Road’ is about to flower after about 8 years, I’m ready to take anything else on! Somebody gimme an allotment and a hothouse now pls. Thanks.