“Plant carrots in January and you’ll never have to eat carrots.”

Today I went on an excursion to the Botanic Gardens. Think public gardens but way bigger and fancier. Having an extensive background in Floriculture (a well kept secret that I’ve only just started admitting in public), I thought the gardens would be an exciting, well interesting, place to visit.

I decided yesterday that I would be making this trek today. Of course, me not being much into the planning meant that I didn’t bother to check the weather forecast. I also didn’t bother to look out the window before I left the flat. I mean, c’mon who does that? Prepare for the weather? Psh! Turns out I should have. It misted the entire time I was out and on the way back it started to rain. By the time I got back to the flat, my pants were wet all the way up to my knees. But was a little rain going to stop me? Not once I had it in my head that today was the day I was going to go to the gardens.

So with a vague, and I mean vague in the sense that I only looked at the major street that would take me to the gardens, idea of where I would be headed, I set off. According to the website, the gardens are only 1 mile from the city center. 1 mile doesn’t seem like much, 1.6 km after all, and since I am far to cheap to pay the 1 pound that bus fare costs, I was determined to hoof it there.

Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in the fact that in Edinburgh streets change names every couple of blocks. I completely missed the street I was supposed to take. Not once, but twice, which meant that I ended up taking an extra fifteen minutes to get there. On the way there I realized my camera battery was dead which was a major letdown and, combined with the misty wetness, was almost a reason to turn back and go another day. But again my stubborn nature won out and I continued on.

I finally found the gardens, after 45 minutes of walking. They were fantastic. There were tons of trees and plants and I could tell that in the summer when everything was all covered in blooms that the place would be wonderful. However, a lot of the beds didn’t have plants so that kind of took away from the atmosphere. But there were name tags representing the plants so I could imagine.

Anyway, on site there are large glass houses where different climates are maintained for the plants that are native to those regions. There are also outdoor habitats set up that represent different areas in the world. The coolest of which has a waterfall. Take that public gardens! All you have is a big pond, this place has a waterfall! Granted, a man made waterfall but still.

All in all, my trip was very fulfilling. I plan to go back when it’s sunny out and my camera is charged. Although somewhat lacking in benches, it seems like a really great place to relax outside; even if it is a little bit of a hike away.

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February 25, 2008. UK.

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