Reviewing a student show, I ended up in a back quad of Queen's College. It was supposed to be a garden show, but skies and recalcitrant technology conspired to chase us into a lecture theatre. The lecture theatre faced a glass wall and beyond the wall - a tiny, rather distracting corridoor garden. I nipped out in the interval to photograph a seductive Clematis among the Wisteria and Painted Ferns. It's not a variety I'm familiar with; huge,blushing purple, with decadently drooping petals.
Queen's actual Fellow's Garden is closed for some archaeology at the moment (and when I say closed, I mean it's now a series of very interesting trenches), so the back quad has been declared Fellow's Garden for now.No-one's supposed to walk on the perfectly manicured grass (I guess no-one told the ducks!) but the long bed has smart little weeding paths, so I was able to get a close look at the swelling perennials in their fancy wire cages.
The planting was astonishingly tidy, zero tolerance of weeds and anything faded or flopped removed to a place of safety. There were some questionable statues tucked into corners. The creepy, semi-decayed putto was in pride of place in a niche outside the bar but that eagle was literally behind a large, solid, screening bush. I had to stand on a wall to get the shot!
In the gathering dusk, the occasional early summer spectacle glowed out of the borders like a jewel. The fluffy heads of Cirsium, and this stunning long-spurred sunset-coloured aquilegia. It's still mostly about the greens, though; hellebores and ferns unfurling, the last few pale spring bulb flowers floating above them like morning stars.
The odd curiosity, too, like this old lead pipe; perhaps the remnants of an old irrigation system. Against the wall, plants already looking a bit dry. The rain shadows of the tall buildings can be fierce.