Last Saturday we had a break from decorating and met my friend Abigail and her family at Wisley Gardens. Typically, it was gloriously sunny the day before and the day after our visit but, in true British fashion, we didn't let the leaden skies and endless drizzle dampen our spirits.
Ooh, I do love a nice walled garden. It all reminded me a bit of Wolf Hall (and wasn't it completely brilliant by the way?) although knowing nothing about the history of architecture, it's quite possible this lot was built hundreds of years after the reign of Henry VIII.
Despite going at the end of winter there was colour all over the gardens, both natural and sculptural, as we walked to the glasshouse.
It doesn't look very inviting, does it? Look at that grey sky. By now I was quite cold and damp and very glad to get inside.
Inside it was as warm and lush as I hoped it would be.
My camera completely steamed up straight away. (I took the above photo after I'd wiped the lens with my sleeve.)
I spotted this arrangement of plants while we were queueing to get in to see the butterflies. Very nice. I'm not interested in gardening or garden plants right now (too much else to think about) but house plants I am obsessed with. I've decided the new house will be full of them.
The butterflies themselves were as delightful and fluttery as I hoped they would be. The kids loved watching them, especially when one landed on my yellow satchel.
By now it was time for lunch and so we trekked back to the restaurant where it seemed all of Surrey was also trying to get some lunch. Quite nice food (although a bit overpriced I thought), loads of pushchairs, not enough seating, lots of friendly staff hovering around ineffectually while desperate families with screaming toddlers tried to find a spot to sit - just your typical middle class day out, really. Next time I'm going in the summer and taking a picnic.
We spent a couple more hours exploring and wandering around. I love watching my two play with Abigail's girls. Bella and her eldest always pair up straight away; it's not a very good photo but I love this one of them sitting either side of the steps, calling over to each other.
Angus is sometimes a little left out but now this toddler is getting bigger all the time he has a playmate. That purple bag was full of "treasures" (stones, mainly, and a crocus head I suspect Bella of snapping off a flower even though she swore she didn't) and he insisted on carrying it around.
Lots more lovely crocuses, untouched by the hands of curious children.
It was really nice day out, despite the cold and damp and crowded restaurant, and somewhere I'd love to return to when the weather is nicer and there are lots more flowers to see.