• Michelle's Monologues

Five Ways you Can Put A Spring In Your Step

Spring has sprung with colourful blooms, birds singing and hopefully better weather on the horizon too. You don't have to travel far to enjoy this time of year. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is celebrating 350 years, while it's not possible to visit I will be sharing how you won't miss out, Spring around the world, bringing the outdoors in and much more!


Yellow Daffodils In The Sunshine ©MDHarding


Five Ways You Can Put A Spring In Your Step


Did you know exposure to nature reduces stress and depression? There are two theories both based on nature restoring cognitive and emotional function. Bringing you back to that sense of calm. Just spending as little as five minutes is said to produce these benefits.

So no matter if you are walking, cycling or gardening observe your surroundings by listening to the birds singing and taking a minute to ground yourself on the fresh green grass.


Spring At The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh



Wee Robin At Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh ©MDHarding


"Lift your spirits with images of the beauty of spring at our four Gardens, Edinburgh, Benmore, Dawyck and Logan. The Gardens might be closed at the minute, but you don’t need to miss out. Keep up with what’s in bloom here" - Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh


You can also watch the short film celebrating 350 years at the Royal Edinburgh Botanic Garden.


Do you have special memories from visiting the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh or perhaps one of the other regional gardens? Why not share them in the Memory Book.


Love botany? Would you like to learn more? The Botanics is currently offering a half-price discount on ‘Getting Started with Botany’ course as well as the RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture. You can find more information on these courses and more here.


Spring Around The World


Cherry Blossom In Japan ©MDHarding


Be inspired by some of the most beautiful gardens around the world. With stunning colourful arrangements, incredible artworks and a wealth of history. Set your sights on one of these marvels of nature.


UC Santa Cruz Arboretum,- Santa Cruz, California © Jim Kirklin

Chihuly Garden and Glass - Seattle, Washington

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle showcases the intricate glass artwork of famed glass blowing artists Dale Chihuly. Trees, shrubs, flowers and ferns from around the world provide a backdrop for Chihuly’s awe-inspiring pieces. The Glasshouse is also not to be missed; the centrepiece of Chihuly Garden and Glasshouses a 100-foot long sculpture in shades of red, amber and gold. visitseattle.co.uk

Sherman Library & Gardens - Newport Beach, California

Tucked away in the Corona Del Mar area of Newport Beach is the Sherman Library & Gardens, a little slice of botanical heaven. Visitors to the peaceful oasis will find a tropical conservatory, complete with koi pond and orchid collection, as well as a succulent garden, a rose garden and a tea garden. visitnewportbeach.com

Denver Botanic Gardens - Denver, Colorado

Denver Botanic Gardens is a horticulturalists dream, offering 24 acres of beautiful gardens. There are a number of internationally inspired gardens as well as shady gardens, lined by trees that provide alcoves from Denver’s famous sunshine, and water gardens, which are home to an extensive aquatic plant collection. Visitors can learn everything there is to know about the variety of plants and flowers. denver.org Naples Botanical Garden - Florida’s Paradise Coast, Florida

Home to not just one, but six beautiful gardens and a nature preserve, Naples Botanical Garden is a 170-acre paradise that is the youngest garden in history to receive the American Public Gardens Association’s prestigious Award for Garden Excellence. Today, the garden boasts themed gardens that represent the culture and flora of the tropics. paradisecoast.com

World Peace Rose Park – Sacramento, California

This Victorian garden sits on 43 acres of the State Capitol Park and features over 600 roses in 140 varieties of colour and fragrance. Walkways interweave through courtyards and fountains, with numerous benches scattered throughout the garden, inviting visitors to sit and enjoy the breath-taking beauty of multi-coloured roses. visitsacramento.com

UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, - Santa Cruz, California


Founded in the 1960s as a showcase for Australian, New Zealand and South African flora, the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum today hosts thousands of species native to various Mediterranean climates. Perched above the city on 135 rolling ocean-view acres, the UCSC Arboretum is one of Santa Cruz's most beautiful destinations, and one of its best-kept secrets. Starting with 80 species of eucalyptus, the Arboretum now holds the largest eucalyptus collection outside of Australia. There are also plants with silver fur and pink feathers, plants with spidery flowers, and plants that look like clouds of blue-green wire. While some of the plantings are unfamiliar, hundreds of hummingbirds migrate to the gardens every year and fill the air with a shrill, squeaking chatter. santacruz.org

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden - Portland, Oregon 


Located in the Southeast quadrant of Portland, the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden boasts luscious floral displays and some of the best bird-watching spots in the city. Today the park is home to over 2,500 species of flower across four hectares of land and welcomes over 100 species of bird, from red-winged blackbirds to green-backed herons. Self-guided tour booklets are available at the grounds allowing visitors to learn about the history and wildlife that lives amongst the blooming gardens. travelportland.com 

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 


First opened in 1893, the world-class gardens and seasonal flower displays of Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens have welcomed millions of visitors over 127 years. Comprising 15 acres of land, visitors to the gardens can wander through the 14 room glasshouse and 23 bespoke gardens. Learn about the innovation of sustainable architecture that is paving the way for original ways to grow and garden. visitpittsburgh.com

Sunnylands Center and Gardens - Rancho Mirage, Greater Palm Springs 


Sunnylands Center and Gardens have played host to some of the world’s most influential leaders, personalities and celebrities since its completion in 1966. The 17,000-square-foot building is surrounded by acres of gardens that are home to 53,000 individual arid-landscape plants and 1.25 miles of walking paths. The gardens even welcome budding artists to come and paint the stunning landscapes that can be enjoyed for free. Visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

Central Park “Secret Garden” - Huntington Beach, California


Located behind the Huntington Beach Central Library, the Central Park "Secret Garden" is a serene place to enjoy nature. Created in 1992, the garden was built to showcase drought-tolerant plants. The Huntington Beach Tree Society has spent many hours restoring and reviving the once-forgotten Secret Garden. A nature lover’s paradise, Huntington Beach Central Park is the largest and lushest park in Orange County. The 350-acre oasis beckons birders, tree huggers, runners, and bicyclists alike. www.surfcityusa.com

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery - Sonoma County, California


Lush gardens and spectacular vineyard views compliment highly acclaimed wines at Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, located in the picturesque Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, California. Acres of stunning terrain surround the estate, with meandering paths and footbridges, a lazy, rippling stream, fish ponds and dazzling displays of colour year-round. No matter the season, the gardens are a delight, changing constantly in colour and plantings, beginning each year with over 10,000 tulips and daffodils that take centre stage in the spring. Over 2000 species of trees and shrubs are marked with identification tags, making this self-guided tour informative as well as breath-taking. www.sonomacounty.com


Harrison W. Smith Botanical Gardens - Bora Bora, The Islands of Tahiti


The famous Harrison W. Smith botanical gardens on Bora Bora Island behold miraculous fruits and other impressive plants, such as the giant bamboo and the banyan tree. Visitors have been known to spot giant Galapagos turtles roaming around the gardens. tahititourisme.uk/en-gb/

Bihoku Hillside Park - Hiroshima, Japan


Bihoku Hillside Park is a national park spreading out over three hectares. There are 70 varieties of flower that blossom in the Flower Square during the spring and autumn months. In addition to the flora, the park is host to a forest with an excellent outdoor athletic track and gorgeous ponds and the best views of the Chugoku Mountains. visithiroshima.net/

Ushimado Olive Garden - Setouchi, Japan


Ushimado Olive Garden, located in Okayama Prefecture, offers beautiful views from a hilltop looking down onto numerous olive trees. Overlooking evergreen islands scattered around the Seto Inland Sea and onto the port town of Ushimado, the garden is dotted with Greek-inspired monuments. During the end of the winter months, colourful plum flowers bloom, while the spring months bring the famous cherry blossoms and in summer, deep blue hydrangeas grow. setouchitrip.com/

Entsuin Temple Garden – Sendai City, Miyagi, Japan


Built-in 1647, Entsuin temple was established to house the mausoleums of Japanese aristocracy. The stunning garden, which surrounds the temple, features a rose garden decorated with spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs. The walkway approaching this 17th Century temple is lined with wide stretches of lush emerald-green moss as if leading visitors to a woodland oasis. visitmiyagi.com/

Kenrokuen Garden – Kanazawa City, Japan


Kanazawa City is home to the Kenrokuen, an Edo-style garden boasting teahouses, trees, bridges and a range of water features. To avoid being perceived as a threat to the Shogun, Kanazawa’s leaders historically chose to invest their wealth in agriculture and the arts as opposed to military might, resulting in the city becoming one of the most culturally rich areas of Japan. The garden is classified as one of the three most beautiful Japanese gardens, attracting both national and international fame. japan.travel/en/uk/

There, of course, are much more beautiful gardens including the incredible Claude Monet's Garden in France, Jardin Marjorelle skillfully re-stored by the designer Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco and Keukenhof, Lisse, the Netherlands with its incredible Tulip displays. Do you have a favourite garden?


Spring Local Walk


John Muir Way ©MDHarding


We are lucky to be surrounded by green spaces with daffodils, cherry blossom trees and the vibrant stems of both yellow and red dogwood shrubs. The blue tits, robins and chaffinches singing their chirpy songs. It's incredible to see the diverse planting, with nature thriving in all habitats from the woodlands to local parks and river walkways.


What are you seeing where you live?


Flower Pressing


© Lidl


You can either pick flowers from your garden, buy cut flowers from Lidi or another supermarket.


Step 1:


Simply place your chosen flowers with their stalks removed (if you wish) between two sheets of paper, and place inside a heavy book.


Step 2:


Carefully close, and weigh the book down for a week or longer if they need further drying.


Step 3:


Display your pressed flowers in a frame, or use to decorate cards and gifts.


I would love to see how you do. Did you know you can also dry flowers, preserve in glycerine or cast them in resin? If you decide to press the flowers and set on a card, you can create a lovely shine by painting over with p.v.a school craft glue.


Window Garden




Have you ever thought about creating your own window or perhaps a miniature garden? It's a great time of year to start planning what you would like to plant.


The kitchen garden is really easy with herbs taking very little time and you can even buy a living pot in the supermarket. Chillies are also very easy to grow from seed and will give you some vibrant colours.


If you are looking for something really easy a miniature garden like the one I have created above, has only moss and just needs a little spray of water every now and then.


I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to get out and put a spring in your step.


If you have any questions/comments please get in touch via email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com


Until next time stay safe and well. x



  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

© 2012 - 2020 © Michelle Deans Harding  / email: enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com

 

  • twitter
  • facebook