Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons 05
Cardinal Guzman has come up with a very good idea and that is to photograph monthly something scenic, be it urban or rural. To then capture this again in a month’s time and repeat until a complete year of shots is taken. I am taking it that one should take shots of the same area to show the difference through the Seasons, but I guess this doesn’t have to be the case, just my take on it and choice I suppose.
For those of you interested in joining, don’t worry about the dates, there is no final deadline, just a suggestion, so you still have time to go out there and create a gallery for this lovely monthly exhibit.
Now on to my photos for Cardinal’s Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons (click the link to pop by his blog and read all about it).
As you will know one of my favourite places to go is Richmond Park and this is the place I aim to photograph once a month until the year is up. If you want to catch up on my other ‘Changing Seasons’ so far please click here: Changing Seasons
So far I have done two posts which cover my favourite walk from Sheen Gate down to Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park. I thought I would stick with this for the twelve months, but then I got distracted by Pens Ponds and decided to cover this area in a couple of posts also which now brings us to May.
Now I had heard that Isabella Plantation which is situated inside Richmond Park is stunning at this time of the year. The blossom around the pond cast a vibrant mirage over the water, almost making it look the colour of the blossom. This I could not miss, so the destination was set, Isabella Plantation it was. If you wish to read up about this area, please click here: Isabella Plantation.
But a brief account as taken from their website is:
The Isabella Plantation is a 40 acre woodland garden set within a Victorian woodland plantation planted in the 1830’s. First opened to the public in 1953, it is best known for its evergreen azaleas, which line the ponds and streams and at their peak of flower in late April and early May.
Located in the gardens are the National Collection of Wilson 50 Kurume Azaelas (introduced to the west from Japan in the 1920’s by the plant collector Ernest Wilson), large collections of Rhododendrons and Camellias, plus many other rare and unusual trees and shrubs which provide interest all year round.
Part of the parklands conservation designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the site is managed very much with nature in mind and the gardens are run on organic principles. Native plants commonly grow alongside exotics throughout the Plantation. Perimeter and shelterbelt areas are planted with native nectar and berry bearing trees and shrubs to provide food and shelter for birds, bats and insects. The Plantation’s ponds and stream provide additional habitat for invertebrates and amphibians.
PREWARN – This post is not for the faint hearted, it took us a long time to get to our destination and I shall take you on the journey with me. It is a nature lovers delight however. There are plenty of galleries, please click on each individual photo to enlarge it should you wish.
So the trip to get to this area should have been relatively easy. Being local residents we ‘thought’ we knew where it was, ie which car park it was near and decided in our arrogance for which we paid later, to just turn up at said card park. This car park was near Pembroke Lodge.
So we arrived full of vigour an enthusiasm and decided to start walking to a wooded area that was enclosed in the distance that we ‘assumed’ was Isabella Plantation….it was not!
On our way to said enclosed forest laden area the boys ran up and down mounds of ‘something’, they attempted to climb various trees then laid in ditches to rest, as boys do.After brief respite they started to climb trees yet again, all rather exhausting to watch.
I was however given a floral present to keep me going. The adventure seemed to be taking rather longer than I thought, after having noticed that the gate for the area we ‘thought’ was Isabella Plantation, clearly said ‘private’, Shrek decided to use google maps on his phone and direct us to supposed ‘said’ area. We kept on walking, me doing some kind of tribal dance or perhaps I was pretending to take flight to make the journey swifter?
The boys yet again with their eternal energy levels decided to not only climb trees, but jump over fallen ones, then hide in empty wooden carcasses and poke their hands through like growing vines.
We walked what seemed a vast circle, the youngest eventually just dumping himself on the mud, no ditch nearby but he didn’t care, exhausting temporarily took over.We then crossed over a road and Shrek said yes we are nearly here. By this point I was utterly exhausted. I decided to ask a nearby person on a bench and she pointed us in the other direction. Shrek was not having it, we continued as he direct and we ended up at Holly Lodge which is NOT the Isabella Plantation.
We did however see some resident deer on the way, they had a curious look on their faces as if to say “I am sure I have seen these stupid humans wandering all over the park” snigger snigger.
We turned tail from Holly Lodge, of which you can read about here: Holly Lodge
My youngest decided to give me a wishing flower, but promptly blew it all himself, I can guess he was wishing he was at home with some electrical gadget to play with. I decided to ask a couple if they could direct us, the look of shock and pity when they realised how far away we were from our destination.
They suggested we go the long walk back to the car park and drive nearer to our final location, which is what we eventually did.
However, seeing a the car was parked at Pembroke Lodge, mummy took the rare opportunity to insist on a cup of tea. Seeing as it was semi Shreks’ fault for the extended walk he could not decline. Upon entering the gardens I saw a bride, oooh and bridesmaids, of course I could not help but snapping them.
Wisteria is one of my favourite plants, I could of course not help but snapping this too!
I had my cup of tea, and a view as you can see, semi respite, enough courage to carry on.
We arrived at the car park to Isabella Plantation, phew, oh my, now a walk to get to the gate!!!!
Now I went in on my own. The others were busy parking and the kids moaning about “silly mummy wanting to take photos for this challenge” . So I thought it best to jump out and go in first on my own and get some photos under my belt before they came in. What I didn’t realise was how utterly massive this place was, nor that phone coverage would work, I lost my family inside and I lost the entrance, oh my…..I am sooo not good with directions.
The plants however were utterly gorgeous.
A rainbow of colours to entice every sense.
I was heading for ‘the pond’ asking various people where it was. They said straight ahead. It was a long walk. I got there, no blossom!!! Then I was told that there was more than one pond. I then started to panic. I was asking whether fate was telling me that I really should not be here, nor trying to do this?
I then asked people where the pond was with the blossom. I was greeted with either “No idea, I cannot find it myself”, or “I found it last week but cannot find it again”.
So forlorn and slightly frightened at the sheer size of the place, the fact I could not get hold of my family, I walked, and walked and walked. Suddenly I came upon a clearing and heard lots of “ooohs” and “aaah” and eureka, I made it, found the pond I was so so pleased, nearly jumped up and down in joy!
It was seriously beautiful this particular pond in Isabella Plantation, I can now see what all the fuss is about. Now I have edited, uploaded and looked at all these photos, it reminds me of the sheer immense size of the walk, for which I paid for physically the next day but utterly worth it wouldn’t you agree?
Thank you for viewing my gallery today, I would love to chat, have some feedback, so please don’t go away until another season, Justine xxx
© Justine Nagaur