walk around the river

June 21, 2011

The weather has been so ghastly but both baby and I needed to get out! It was cold on Sunday so he needed socks and a big warm blanket with horses on it! We set off along the built up south bank of the river at Thames Ditton and strolled through suburbia looking at many eclectic front gardens. Baby dropped off to sleep quickly . . .

. . . and I didn’t realise and kept chatting on to him in a silly granny manner about what I could see along the way. He missed this little bear/pig???

We arrived at the bridge at Hampton Court and the sky said it all, looking east towards the palace . . .

and looking west . . . so on went the rain protector over the buggy . . .

. . . . looking  through the ruderal planting along the bank, folks were ignoring the ominous clouds and bent on enjoying their Sunday pastimes  . . .

. .  and looking into the Palace environs, the pom poms of mistletoe give a static feel to this historic site. As you proceed along the river path to the east, the walls and the planting along the walls strike a formal note. Mixed in is the odd exotic . . .

. .  Acca sellowiana, native to South America, but looks very good here in this sheltered south-facing situation. It is an evergreen shrub with discreet exotic flowers followed by large green fruits like a type of guava.

Over the gates into the Privy Garden, the French influence is obvious. The new gilding has echoes of Versailles but further on the path towards Kingston areas of wild flowers contrast with the ‘mannered’ gardens within the Palace. Geranium pratense rises up with the long grasses to make a rather lovely and tactile composition. The river’s edge is kept fairly natural here without the development that has cropped up the other bank – rowing and sailing clubs, a Huf haus and riverside villas predominate. . . . . .

. . baby wakes up beneath his rain protector to enjoy the life of the river . . .

. . the ferrys, the sailing boats and fishing . . . lots of people wave at us and many smile at him as he’s just that sort of a baby! He liked these youngsters who were messing about with jars and newts and mud  . . .

. . . and also this family of swans – proud parents of 3 cygnets – who kept slithering and slipping between the slats in the ramp . . . amazing contortions from the mother . . .

. .  and crossing finally the bridge at Kingston to return along the north facing edge,  some more Sunday activity – noisy bellowing from the megaphone  –  and a view of our way home to Thames Ditton. We passed many more swans and baby is transfixed by them. He can’t wait until he’s out of the buggy on his own 2 pins!

Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other bards may see,
As lovely visions by thy side
As now, fair river! come to me.
Oh glide, fair stream! for ever so;
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
‘Till all our minds for ever flow,
As thy deep waters now are flowing. Wordsworth Lines written near Richmond, upon the Thames

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