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Cambridge Botanical Gardens (1)


By balcony


*On the 14th of September I went to visit the Cambridge Botanical Gardens. I had only ever visited the gardens once before, back in 1966! Obviously I don’t remember anything of the visit, over than I went with my first girlfriend.

I arrived an hour before they opened to the public & so I walked all around the perimeter of the park. This “trek” took me only 3/4 of an hour so I still had to wait.

This then is the entrance to the gardens:*

*This lovely Rudbeckia was one of the first plants to greet me! *

This Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) was close by:

I soon found where the glasshouses were, though I didn’t go in till the last 15 mins there in the gardens but by that time I had practically no power left in the phone battery so I didn’t take any more photos, In fact I was so tired that I just sat down on a dry stone wall in one of the glass houses to recover a little strength. I had been walking around the gardens for about 5 hours by then!

I’m going back in a few days time & this time I will spend most of my time in the wonderful glasshouses!

*Here are some lovely Agapanthus that stand in a huge pitcher in front of the glasshouses. *

*Another Agapanthus but shorter & growing in the ground: *

*On either side of the glasshouse door there are two Wollemi Pines. I remembered reading about these on the internet but didn’t know there were a couple here. *

These pines are quite unusual in that the leaves are not needle shaped but flattened & quite soft to the touch. Here is a close up of one of the two:

*Just across the path from the glasshouse there are several long, curving beds which have been planted with flowers that are of great interest to bees.

I took a number of photos of the plants but most of us know them very well & you probably have them in your gardens:

To begin with I thought it would be of interest to put some photos of the information boards on here before the actual plants: *

This big pot full of bee plants looked really good!:

Although there were lots of plants in flower there was scarcely a bee to be seen! Perhaps because it was a very windy day & it was also drizzling at the time I took the photos as well as being rather chilly during the morning, contributed to there being no bees even though you can see a hive in the background.

This beautiful Sedum Autumn Joy was to be found in many different places in the gardens:

*I was lucky enough to see the Autumn Crocuses out in all their beauty! *

This one is the Byzantine Meadow Saffron:

This one is Colchicum speciosum:

This is the lovely Giant Meadow Saffron:


*I was very chuffed with this photo of the Castor Oil Plant after I had darkened it a little, it seemed to jump out of the screen at me! Being smaller here the effect is lost.

More blog posts by balcony

Previous post: Early September on the plot

Next post: My First Autumn down on the plot



Glad you enjoyed your outing to one of our wonderful Botanic Gardens, Balcony, and to hear that you will be going back, soon. Yes, would love to see more from the glasshouses (my favourite areas).. May Thanks for showing us some of the marvellous plants from CBG, and look forward to more. :-))

23 Sep, 2010


You had a very tiring but interesting day at the Botanic Gardens. The last photo of the Castor Oil plant is really spectacular....the colouring on the leaves is very pleasing to my eye.

The Wollemi Pines at the entrance to the glass house are lovely....what a discovery as they were thought to be extinct.

It will be good to see more photos on your return visit. Thanks for all the text to accompany the photos. It makes your blog so readable and interesting.

23 Sep, 2010


Great blog!! I'm also amazed by the story of the wollemi pine... they were 'rediscovered' just a few hours south of my place....
As for the castor oil plant, it's a noxious weed over here... I see it and GROAN!!!

23 Sep, 2010


Wonderful blog Balcony. Nice to get a little look see into your trip to that garden. Lovely shots and very interesting. I love the conservation information about the wollemi and to think we have a member that lives so near! Wonderful Pip! I too love the black castor plant pic, very beautiful. I'm trying to talk the nursery into bring that plant in next summer. Sorry to hear it so noxious in Australia. I'm sure it couldn't take off here, with our winters.

24 Sep, 2010


Nice to accompany you on your visit to the Cambridge Botanical Gardens...
lovely pics :o)

24 Sep, 2010


Thanks for sharing your visit with such good pix (you must have a very good mobile camera set up). I used to visit Cambridge regularly, and from time to time would visit the garden, which, thanks in part to its location, is not very well known among visitors, which to some extent is an advantage! The autumn crocus are spectacular. The Wollemi pine looks interesting, and seems to be a good container plant, although it would need quite a large container! Like any botanical gardens, the Cambridge ones provide a chance to meet old friends, such as the rudbeckia, and new ones, like the Wollemi pine. Thanks, again, for the garden tour.

btw, on the outskirts of Cambridge is Anglesey Abbey, a National Trust property, with a splendid landscape, a terrific winter border, and at this time of year, the woods are full of cyclamen. Have you been there?

24 Sep, 2010


An interesting place to visit, and some wonderful photos. Thanks.

24 Sep, 2010


That brought back memories, I went to Cambridge with Karensue when she was still at home think she was about 15 years old, we went by train with a friend of hers, very trying day, the train timetable was wrong, the trains were late, the connections were horrendous, we had trains cancelled on our way back home, but oh boy did we have a good day in Cambridge, passed these gardens whilst walking round the place never made it in to them. Think it was Kings College Choir we heard in one of the halls, shopped till we dropped and were all exhausted by the time we came back home very late at night. I wonder if she can remember that day, the trains journeys and connections were really really bad, but we had fun. (if you can call it fun) British Rail eh!

24 Sep, 2010


Thank you all for your great comments, you really made my day! :-))

I wasn't sure if the information boards I photographed would go down well, but from your comments it seems they did! That encourages me because I have more!!! I'd like to make up a couple more blogs on different themes like the Dry Garden, Composting, etc.

I took over 200 photos, which included photos of the name plates in front of many plants. These I took at a lower resolution & very close up so that when I had the photos on the computer I could also match them up with the correct names. These I later deleted, (as I have no use for them & I doubt if anyone here would be interested in seeing name plaques!), along with a few that came out too blurry to use. I have a few that I don't have names for & I was thinking of printing out a contact sheet with the ones I don't know in the hope of getting them when I return. I ended up with about 180 photos that I wish to keep!

Kowhai, I haven't visited Anglesey Abbey but after what you've told me I would like to visit there one day. Sounds like they have some very interesting gardens!

I note that you found The Wollemi Pines as interesting as I did! I didn't know they had a couple of them at Cambridge. I'd read about their discovery a few years ago but I never expected to see one!

I was impressed by the Giant Redwood pines they have there as well. It seems they come from the very first seed ever brought back to this country! I'll have to make a blog with the trees I was impressed by! They have a very, very old Pinetum as well as a new one.

Here is a link to the map of the gardens:

As I mention different areas on my blogs you will be able to follow me - think of it as a "Guided Tour"! LOL!

24 Sep, 2010


Lovely pictures and looks a great place to visit, I love the Autumn crocus;0)

25 Sep, 2010


Glad you liked the Autumn Crocuses, PP! Yesterday I went back to Cambridge, to the CBG, & saw many more plants I missed the first time around & even got into the first couple of glasshouses before having to leave. I also managed to find the names of some of those I missed the first time, but a couple eluded me.

I got a few more photos of the Liquidamber, I'm going to upload them to my pictures & later include them in a blog.

I have material for several more blogs - now that the allotment updates will be coming to an end shortly.

26 Sep, 2010


I copied this blog to my other site/homepage BeyondSpace then I modified it to include links to MUCH bigger photos. If you are interested in seeing the photos at a size to fill your screen then copy this link into your browser:

I hope you will enjoy seeing them at their original size. :-))

26 Sep, 2010


Thanks for pointing me in this direction, Balcony. I really will have to plant more Colchicums and Autumn crocuses, too. They're just such pleasure at this time of year. :-))

18 Oct, 2010


Your welcome, Spritz! :-))

I, too, liked the Autumn Crocuses & was so pleased that I arrived at the best time to see them! I had never seen so many different species of them before my visit.

18 Oct, 2010


When I bought my Colchicum, I did buy actual 'Autumn Crocuses' as well - but I've only got 4 up out of three packets. I live in hope that more might appear...

There weren't many varieties to choose from, but I suppose I'd need to get them from a specialist, not a Garden Centre.

18 Oct, 2010


Enjoyed your blog very much Balcony, and the Colchicums were of particular interest. Beautiful colours. Must remember to get one or two when they become available for next year. The castor oil plant looked wonderful, what beautiful colours.

18 Oct, 2010


Thank you. Bellflower. I'm pleased you liked my blog! :-))

I'm afraid you won't find very many outside a specialist nursery, Spritz. I don't know how many thereare anyway as in the CBG there were only about half a dozen species anyway. No doubt there are more varieties.

19 Oct, 2010


I can't track down any other doubles, except 'Water Lily' which is the one I have. I'd love more like that, only maybe white...mmmmm...I shall keep looking. I remember seeing a lot at Beth Chatto's garden, but I didn't note how many different ones there were.

19 Oct, 2010


great stuff! you know ive just seen here the new entrance... wow! where does time go...

12 Sep, 2013


Looking at my blog again I see it's now THREE years since I was first - & last - there! I don't remember what the entrance to the garden looked like back in 1966 when I first visited it! I didn't know this entrance was "new" either!

Maybe next year I'll be able to make a few escape visits there agin, if I do then these blogs I wrote will help me contrast what I may see again.

19 Sep, 2013


happy contrasting :) i think i visited my first time in 1969...

19 Sep, 2013


Have you visited the gardens often?

23 Sep, 2013


no... not really... when i was about 8-9 i was on my own a lot at home... even in school times....long story anyhow i would walk to the botanic gardens from garden walk every day... i thought i had landed myself in paradise... it was quite strange in some ways cause one was allowed (if a child) in only with a adult.... but i always was able to stroll around... then when i became a adult i would visit now and again as i live away from Cambridge now... i think the last time as i said was about three years ago.... but i want to make sure i get there soon and deffo if there's snow on the ground... i was going to try this week...

the botanic side may interest me more now i think...

before the interest was the trees and rockery...

23 Sep, 2013


I'd love to visit again.

I've just reposted some of the blogs I wrote 4 years ago on the gardens!

26 Sep, 2013


oh! great will take a look in a bit.... ive just finished writing a blog...

26 Sep, 2013

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