Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Great Exhibition Connection...

In the tropical pond at the Edinburgh Botanics Glasshouses, the water lilies are in bloom.The huge leaves belong to the Victoria Water Lily, which is a native of the Amazon.Smaller lilies nestle in amongst the giants.I reminded my boys that the Victorian botanists who first introduced these to Britian used to sit babies on the giant leaves, to show how magnficently strong each leaf was.When I searched for the Victorian-baby-on-leaf photo on Google, I found instead this picture of Joseph Paxton's nine year old daughter Annie standing on one of the leaves! I wonder if she could swim. Joseph Paxton was the gifted gardener-turned-architect who designed the beautiful and innovative Crystal Palace, based on the incredible structure of his giant water lily leaves! The Crystal Palace was the venue for the 1851 Great Exhibition, so I found myself coming full circle back to yesterday's beautiful telescopic picture.A bit of Googling showed me that the child-on-leaf idea, which appealed greatly to Son 2, is still in use for botanic garden publicity around the world.
This leaf seems to be propped, which is probably all for the better.My own boys had no chance of going on the leaves, but Son 2 did his best to get into nature by skidding magnificently in a rare muddy patch within two minutes of entering the gardens. He was chasing pigeons, of course.We mopped him up as best we could in the Ladies'.

Yesterday evening we met up with Ben's brother and his wife for a meal and a late night trip to the cinema. It was a great chance for the boys to meet up with their uncle and aunt, whom they don't see very often. We all had a great time, and are having a quiet day now to recover from a very late night!

12 comments:

Ashley said...

Love those giant waterlilies, they are pretty anazing!

Mandy said...

Oh what a lovely place. Oh Son 2 had a bit of mud on him, LOL who cares!
x
Floss just wanted to say thank you for your lovely words on my blog today xx

Carol said...

Those Lillies are amazing. I have always been facinated by the way they grow. Gunera is another fav..must be the sheer size that interests me! Headache this morning...I think the stormy weather is to blame! Cx

The Curious Cat said...

This is a sweet story and you learn something new everyday it would appear! xxx

Jackie said...

I love the hothouse at the Botanics, it's at it's most welcoming on a cold day after a lovely stroll around the gardens! Boy's and mud ~ they just can't help themselves can they? Looks like he had a wonderful time though and nothing a little bit of soap and water wouldn't fix :O)

Sarah said...

I never knew that about the leaves! I have always thought they were amazing and the flowers are one of my favourites. Poor thing getting into such a state at the beginning! Sort of thing boys do though. Our are good at forgetting their shoes!

Just to let you know, I have finally posted your parcel today. Hope you like it, she says nervously!!

Cal said...

Nothing better than getting muddy when you're young and congrats to the King of Troc for his find.

Cal x

Olga said...

Hi Floss, it is great to be back to your blog! I missed it. Recently blogging became a big challenge for me because of work and I immensely miss all the fun. Lovely post! I was also fascinated by this water lily the first time I learned about its existence. I also remember reading somewhere that the first day the flower opens it is white and then it turns pink the by the next day, I guess it gets ripe in its own flowery way. It is great you all are enjoying Edinburgh! Do come to check out my today's post - it is also about flowers :)

Joan@anythinggoeshere said...

Aren't the water lilies just incredible. Near where I live in Illinois at the turn of the century there was a giant water lily park where people took boat rides out into the water to view the giant lilies. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could go back in time and see such things?

Thecraftytrundler said...

Hi Floss! Have just caught up on your last few posts. I so want to visit Edinburgh one day, and it looks as though you and the boys has a great time!(Glad you all didn't get muddy!!!)
Hope you are having a lovely summer holiday, and I'm sorry to say I still can't access your blog, or quite a few others unfortunately : (. Iam at Dave's today, so that's how I can reply to you. I think on my next post I will ask everyone if they know the answer to this problem.
Have fun, and you are not forgotten!

SHARON XX

Marie Reed said...

Wow! SHe found the PERFECT handkercheif! It just screams FLOSSSS will love me! How pretty:) Welcome home! I'm in the States visiting my Mom now.

Polka Dot Daze said...

Wow they are amazing.