It seems that ‘arboretum’ is not a commonly used or known word at the moment. Each time I’ve told anyone that I visited an arboretum on the weekend I’ve been met with a blank stare. So, according to Oxford Living Dictionaries:
a botanical garden devoted to trees
Also apparently the plural of arboretum is arboreta. I don’t think I’ll ever use that in a sentence!
If you didn’t already guess, we spent our Saturday at Batsford Arboretum a few weeks ago. It is only about half an hour away from home, which was perfect for a day when we didn’t feel like going on a major ‘outing.’ We had been a few times before, but this was the first time in spring to see all the new blooms.
The walkway up to the entrance is under a trellis covered with wisteria and clematis. As we walked underneath it the buzzing from all the bees was so loud, but it smelled so sweet!
There weren’t many people there that day, so we were on our own most of the time. They have such a massive variety of trees, though to be honest I am absolutely rubbish at identifying different them. I picked out the California Redwoods, the Willows, Rhododendrons and Laurels, but I think that was about it. At one point I was sure I smelled lilacs, but couldn’t see the tree anywhere. It wasn’t until I looked closely at the tag on one flowering tree that I found out it was a Hungarian Lilac; the flowers were so much more delicate than the lilacs that I am used to that I never would have recognized it!
Batsford is also a working farm; the main part of the arboretum is surrounded by cow and sheep fields that you can walk through, as well as the old barns and farm outbuildings. We walked up to the top of one of the pastures and spent at least an hour just lying in the grass and soaking up the sun. When we were walking back we found about a dozen cows lying in the shade with their calves; have you ever noticed just how beautiful baby cows are?
It was a perfect day, and made me realize that we really don’t need to plan elaborate outings on the weekends. Lately I’ve been wanting to travel more, to feel like I have experienced more of England’s culture and history. I’ve sometimes felt that our life is a bit boring and that I should be making the most of living in the UK and visit all the typical must see tourist spots, thinking that this is the only way to make memories worth remembering. Now I’m starting to see that any seemingly mundane little thing can be a memory, as long as you focus on enjoying and experiencing that moment. I guess this is a cliché, but simple little things that can seem trivial in the moment often make the most precious memories. So I’m currently working on reminding myself to be present in each moment, to appreciate it rather than focusing on other things I want to do or bigger and better plans I’m making!