Saturday, 25 July 2015

Exeter University - a magical microcosm! ;-)

I’ve had my gagging order lifted (at last!). 

I’ve had a bit of a proud mum moment this week, when Nich texted me to say that he had won the top award in The University of Exeter’s  ‘Above and Beyond’ recognition scheme for all employees. 

£1900 isn’t to be sniffed at and that’s what he’s been awarded!! ;-)  

As it just so happens, a few weeks ago, we arranged to visit the university campus and savour the horticultural highlights with Nich and Lizzie!! And that’s where we’ve been today!! 

The Streatham campus is actually a registered botanic garden…and you can wander to your heart's content…all for free! And we barely saw another person!! What a great time to visit!

Come with me and have a wander...

We start off at Reed Pond, a traditional brick built and clay puddled pond.

This was created as part of the original landscape of Reed Hall.

Stop and look closely and you'll spot some beautiful dragonflies, frogs,

a variety of fish species and no doubt many other water loving creatures.

It's an idyllic spot; it's calming, charming and delightful.

I'm in heaven, already! ;-)

Reed Hall... a lovely building which hosts many events, including weddings 

and, indeed, this is where my daughter Helen was married.

The beds are planted with blue Ageratum, White Alyssum and Blue Salvia,

signifying the colours of the university. It's beautiful.

It is said that the landscaping on the campus is designed to ensure that

the buildings 'sit in' rather than dominate the landscape.

This is especially noticeable when you reach the Business school,

where you find a lovely, wildflower meadow.

It's a microcosm and a haven for bees and other insects

in which to work and play.

The other thing that I love is the use of water, here and there,

on the campus. This lends itself to big bullrushes

and other water loving plants, which sit in harmony with 

each other. It's simply nature getting on well....

and maybe giving us humans a lesson at the same time!

We've visited in July, when the Hydrangeas are in their prime and roses

 climb at their leisure.  Montbretia flashes its blooms in your face

as you pass and various types of lilies, along with Escholzia, blend in with

the colour scheme. A little, wild Arum, basking in the sun,

 says, 'Hey! Don't forget me!!'

How could we?!

We have reached the Taddiforde Valley. 

If you visit in April/May then you'll see the wonderful

 Millennium Magnolias, in bloom, along with many bulbs.

As it is, we just listen to the birdsong and that is pure magic.

One or two of us fancy playing 'Pooh sticks'!

We haven't seen it all...that would take a few more visits but this is one

fabulous place!  The micro climates created by the buildings and the natural

lie of the landscape, mean that not only can rare plants be grown but also

that the biodiversity is constantly being improved along with the

resources for learning.

The  University of Exeter can stand very proud in its achievements and aims

in supporting sustainability and lifelong learning.

The campus is a living laboratory and the university also retains

 the services of an RSPB specialist, who undertakes regular bird counts.

In other words, the ecology of the campus is under continual

appraisal and always looking to improve the ecology of the campus.

I do so love it here!

Suddenly, I find myself wishing that I could join the hundreds of 

'freshers' who are going to be descending on this place of learning

in September! 

How lucky they are!!

Having studied, many years ago, at a beautiful campus, 

which was said at the time to be second to Kew Gardens when it came to

the variety of trees, I have this sudden pang of passion for

my student days!! 

I'm also very glad that both Nich and Lizzie have this

 fabulous resource at their fingertips and as they work at this very place;

they can dip their toes into the nature here, whenever they feel the need!

You'd have to go some to find anywhere as lovely.

The Times has described Streatham Campus as 

' The best gardened campus in Britain.'

The Independent has described it as having,

' A sublime setting'

And me?

I say.... 'Go and see for yourself! You won't be disappointed!!

Click here for your guide.

And not forgetting a big THANK YOU to our guides for the day! ;-)

1 comment:

KC'sCourt! said...

A lovely place to check out next time we are in Exeter
Julie xxxxxx