Today we sallied forth to see the Jardin Botanique and the Insectarium. Both of these are well worth the trip, dare I say even the trip from Wharncliffe.
The Insectarium is an incredible collection of insects and information about them. The whole tone of the place is to make us see that insects are living things and a vital part of the planet. It’s awe-inspiring, delightful, brilliant, and a great way to spend a couple of hours, although in the two-plus hours I was there many people came and went. Of course, I did spend some of that time drawing one of the leaf insects. I’m going to try to draw something every single day – a visual diary of the trip.
The Jardin Botanique is – well, incredible. We didn’t see all of it, even though we spent seven hours there. We did tour the exhibition greenhouses, all nine of them, and walked through part of the rose gardens, and the bit of the Chinese Garden that was open (they’re renovating). David went to see the Japanese Garden while I rested my knee – which held up very well through the day, but finally started to whinge.
The greenhouses were themed – bromeliads, cacti, orchids, ferns, begonias, bonsai, food plants and so on. They were beautifully arranged, and the plants all looked healthy and happy. David went through them while I was drawing in the insectarium, and when we met after I was done, he said, “You have to see these greenhouses!” And he was right – I’m glad I didn’t miss them.
This is going to be another place we have to come back to again. Oh, and if you do go, and have lunch in the little restaurant just off the park, try the rose kombucha – it’s delicious!