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Thursday 30 March 2017

Wakehurst Revisited

So, Four Go To Wakehurst continues ...

Wakehurst Place is the famous Kew Garden's country estate with formal and ornamental gardens, woodlands, wildlife and a nature reserve. It is also home to the Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world, where some 80 million seeds are stored at any given time.  Or maybe it was 80 billion.  I dunno.  A bloomin' big number, anyway.
It has a vital mission to conserve 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020 and is working with partners in Africa to create a green wall of forestry to improve soil stability.  Amazing stuff!

I met up with Anna in the gardens' shop of course, where she was busying herself with a recce of what was on offer, ready to pick up when we left.   Most organised, is this lady.

From shop to seed - we moved swiftly along on to the seed bank.

I never knew seeds could be quite so beautiful.  In colour.

In their shape.  Their pompon-ness.  Their size. 
The pineconey things only seed after the earth has been scorched.

We were able to see the scientists at work with their seeds, today's seeds being honeysuckle and rowan.
Seeds are stored at a temperature 11 times colder that our home freezers!

The estate is wonderful to stroll through, so many trees, silver birch, sequoia, triffids.  Here's a game for you, spot the fake triffids -  I snapped them before I realised that I've been fooled by those before!

Rhoddies were out, in reds and whites.  I think at this stage we were in the Himalayan gardens.

Indigenous wildlife was enjoying the sunny day.

Lots of birdies.  A bear stuck in a totem pole.

Carp enjoying their pretty lake home.

Spring is bustin' out in the plant world.  Gunnera.  Some yellow thing.


More rhoddies.  I love em.   So blousy, yet ethereal.

And here's Wakehurst Place.

The large pointy tree to the right is a sequoia, Europe's largest I think.  It is lit up at Christmas time.  It's lights can be seen from France.  That's a bloomin' distance.  My Christmas lights in the lounge can barely seen from the dining room!

A few rooms are open to the public.  And in the dining area I thought The Photographer had laid on a surprise party for me.  But no, the mansion was hosting a wedding reception later that day.

Then we drifted through the estate's shop where Anna's recce paid off as her purchases were made with lightening speed.  We discussed purchases on  the way to our cars.  We discussed the styling of her new cut offs.  Little styling could be applied to my two fridge magnets.

I hope you enjoyed your walk around Kew Garden's country estate and seed bank.
I bet you're ready for a bite of lunch and a nice crisp pinot grigio, eh?  We were!

A la perchoine.

Four Go To Wakehurst - The Style Post

I spent a superb day with my lovely blogger chum Anna of muttonyearsstyleandi.  Her Mr Him and my The Photographer joined us, making up a fun foursome.  It is such a pleasure to meet real life bloggy mates.

We chose to meet up at Wakehurst Place, Ardingly.  More on that in a separate post because so many photos were taken that it seems kinder to split this outing in two, the social side and the botanical side, for Wakehurst is a mix of gardens and seed bank.

Anna suggested posting a meet-up style post. Crikey!  I wasn't prepared for a style shoot!
  Anna on the other hand came totally prepared for two outings, one outfit for sightseeing which then magically transformed in her car into her  "going out" garb. How stylish and pre-prepared was that?!

Do you go out prepared for 2 occasions, transforming in-car, like Superman in a telephone booth?

So here are my efforts.  Sightseeing Outfit, l/h pic; Going Out Outfit, r/h pic.  
Yup, same outfit. No magic!

My outfit is a style steal repetition, the subtle difference being that this time I wore the prescribed brown boots.  
I also added a mess of necklaces. 
I don't know if there is a collective noun for a multiple of necklaces but my own distinctive way of wearing them would seem to invite "a mess of", or "an untidiness of" necklace.

OK, that's style done.  So moving on to the social side of our get-together, we went to 

The Gardeners Arms, West Sussex Bar & Restaurant The Gardeners Arms, West Sussex Bar & Restaurant

It's invitingly decorated with random decoupage and cosy lighting.

Now bearing in mind the name of the place, the owners' have been meticulously thorough with the décor.  The Ladies' has pics of male pin-up telly gardeners on the walls.  We speculated that Charlie Dimmock and Rachel de Thame perhaps decorated the Gents'.  Accepting my gender boundaries, I sent The Photographer to investigate.  Alas, he brought back no photographic evidence but he did spend some time reviewing the, err, artwork.

Anna and I.

Wine was consumed artistically.  We staged pics of sunglasses.  Anna's were fashionista, mine are OAP-fashionista Solar Shields.  

My choice was yummy garlic prawns, sourdough bread, a curious bowl of lemon soup ...

Now three of our meals were just dandy.  One, however, was controversial and concerned an undercooked burger whose charge was then overcooked.  The incident could have been managed better.  Sad that this soured our experience.

Then later, controversy was soon forgotten as just look in whose kitchen I've been posing!

When writing my Being ... Anna post recently, I made the observation that Anna's style shots are taken largely in her kitchen.  So after lunch I was invited to a "style photo shoot" in that very kitchen! 
Her daughter Miss 22 is looking on with mild amusement.  Well, you would, wouldn't you.

A la perchoine.

P.s.  don't forget to check out this post's big sister, eh -
my botanical bit, Wakehurt Revisited, up soon!