I’m not sure how long I’d sat pondering in Alameda but eventually I just stood up feeling very relaxed, refreshed and happy that over the coming week I would be able to explore the gardens more leisurely when I didn’t feel so pressed for time. At the back of my mind I was aware my travelling companions (Carol, Sheila and Joe) might be holding back on going for lunch (pending me getting back) and so I thought I’d better hoof it back to the Bristol.
(The lovely Dell in Alameda Gardens)
In good faith I headed off toward the main entrance (near the cable car terminal) although (as many people who know me would agree) I’m very easily distracted and would be the first to put my hand up and admit it. I hadn’t gone far when I came across the footbridge by the beautiful Dell – and for me to not stop and admire the Castle and Keys on the lawn and the lovely water fountain would have been a travesty! From what I’ve read online recently the Dell has become an increasingly popular wedding location and I’m not in the least bit surprised; I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beautifully greener grass anywhere (maybe New Zealand at a push) and the sound of the water from the fountain just gives it all that lovely Zen finishing.
Dragging myself away and over the footbridge I turned left to go down to the lower lane where the playground is/used to be (at this point I didn’t know if it was still there or not) and spotted a new Children’s Garden on the bend. Craning my neck to look between the bars of the fence for a better view I was totally captivated and rewarded with lovely views of a delightful project; local children who were members of their own Garden Club were growing herbs and vegetables and heaven only knows what else all of which were labelled and flourishing. As I looked between the bars of the fence I felt like a child looking into Santa’s Grotto. It was lovely.
From what I could see the children also made crazy pavement and risen garden areas with their own very unique scare crows – one of them, made from plant-pots, looked like something out of a TV show that was on on in the 60s (Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men). And just as I was thinking that it was one of the most magical things I’d ever seen I spotted their ‘Bee Hotel’ and was totally hooked. I loved the whole concept so much that I decided there and then it was an idea I would be taking back to the UK for the children I work with professionally. A ‘Bee Hotel’. Priceless!
I’m not sure how I finally managed to drag myself out of the lovely Alameda but at least I knew it wouldn’t be 40 years before I got back…it would be tomorrow 🙂