An unexpected bit of free time today and lo! A parking space by the Victoria Gate which meant I had to stop – and (first things first) smell the roses. Gertrude Jekyll, Stanwell Perpetual and Madame Isaac Pereire brought High Summer right back on a mostly overcast mid-November day. Soul food.

From the Rose Garden, a walk took me through the leaf-strewn lawns to find the grove of Ginkgo trees (amazing) and over past the grass borders (equally amazing) to the Davies Alpine House and out through the rock garden. Off a side path, below and behind the Temple of Aeolus is the Chilean Bell Flower, Lapageria rosea in flower – by more of the lanterns being put in preparation for the seasonal light-fest throughout the gardens – and back around the lake to the Victoria Gate. The magnificent Cotinus obovatus was obligingly backlit and in full stained-glass-window mode. Is is too much to say ‘Awesome’. Well it is!