Dawyck Botanic Garden in the spring

In the third week of April (which seems a long time ago now), the delightful assistants had a trip down to the Scottish Borders.

[Since then, delightful assistant no.1 has unfortunately had a number of hospital visits, which is partly why it’s taken me so long to get round to doing this post, but I’m happy to say she’s getting better again now and is looking forward to more outings in the near future.]

It was a beautiful spring day when they headed south in search of sunshine and flowers, making Dawyck Botanic Garden their ultimate destination.

Before arriving there, they stopped at the Laurel Bank Tearoom in the small village of Broughton for a spot of luncheon. The Laurel Bank has gone through several incarnations since they started going there many years ago. Under the present management it’s about as good as it’s ever been and seems to be doing a roaring trade every time they visit.

They settled themselves at a table and quickly made their choices. Delightful assistant no.1 wasn’t feeling terribly hungry and felt a bacon roll would be just the right size. Her spouse opted for a cheese and onion toastie and their chauffeur went for a baked potato with cheese.

bacon roll
Delightful assistant no.1’s bacon roll
cheese and onion toastie
Cheese and onion toastie for delightful assistant no.2.
baked potato with cheese
Chauffeur’s choice: baked potato with cheese and salad.

Having had only a small thing for her main course, delightful assistant no.1 felt she had room for a slice of apple pie and a jug of cream. Her spouse was intrigued by one of the special puddings: chocolate marshmallow pie, and their chauffeur decided she fancied a hot chocolate more than any sort of cake.

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One of delightful assistant no.1’s all-time favourites: apple pie with cream.
chocolate marshmallow pioe
A curious chocolate marshmallow pie for delightful assistant no.2.
hot chocolate
Hot chocolate for the chauffeur.

Highly satisfied with their lunches, they made their way with smiles of contentment to nearby Dawyck. The garden was bathed in sunshine and awash with glowing daffodils.

Daffs at Dawyck.jpg
Glowing daffodils at Dawyck Botanic Garden.

With a walking pole in one hand and a spouse in the other, the assistants set off at a leisurely pace along paths often trod in the past.

assistants at Dawyck
Delightful assistants proceeding at a leisurely pace in Dawyck Botanic Garden.

Rhododendrons were flowering magnificently and it wasn’t long before bench seats were starting to look rather inviting.

rhodies at Dawyck
Rhododendron flowering at Dawyck Botanic Garden.
rhodie with bench at Dawyck
Rhododendron with tempting bench seat.

After a decent bit of walking, they succumbed to a bench seat pleasantly positioned in the sun next to a Tibetan cherry tree with striking red bark.

assistants next to a Tibetan cherry
Assistants resting next to a red-barked Tibetan cherry.

Delightful assistant no.2 was keen to see the wooden statue of a native American Indian, which meant getting on to a path above the level they were sitting at.

Having had a few falls in recent months which had left her feeling a bit unsteady on her feet, delightful assistant no.1 was nervous about taking the short cut up a steep grassy slope to reach the path. Encouraged by her chauffeur to use two walking poles, with the promise of assistance if she needed it, she gamely faced her fears and tackled the incline while her spouse dozed peacefully on the bench below.

clambering up an incline
Delightful assistant no.1 bravely tackling an obstacle course for old people in the shape of a steep grassy slope.

At the top she heaved a sigh of relief and was rewarded with a swathe of daffodils cheering her along on the upper path.

on the upper path
Daffodils and a small assistant at Dawyck.

Having concluded his nap, delightful assistant no.2 joined his wife and they made their way along to the statue he wanted to see. Getting up close meant tackling another steep slope, something delightful assistant no.1 had no inclination for. Her spouse made his way up with a bit of help, and posed joyfully next to the big man.

posing with a statue
Chums at Dawyck Botanic Garden.

They continued their stroll through the garden, enjoying the sunshine and signs of new growth on trees and shrubs.

strolling at Dawyck
Strolling at Dawyck Botanic Garden in the spring sunshine.

Eventually, the heat of the sun led to delightful assistant no.2 reluctantly divesting himself of his jacket, and he felt far more comfortable for it.

happy without jacket
Delightful assistants comfortably warm without jackets at Dawyck.

As they toddled towards the cafe by the entrance to the garden, they saw someone up ahead sniffing at a rhododendron. When they passed the same plant themselves, delightful assistant no.1 paused to inhale its scent. Her spouse is not one for flower-sniffing and waited patiently while his wife knocked herself out (so to speak).

sniffing rhodies
Delightful assistant no.1 enjoying a scented rhododendron at Dawyck Botanic Garden.

Carefully negotiating a short flight of steps, they made it into the home straight and headed straight for refreshments.

careful on steps
Carefully negotiating a small flight of steps at Dawyck.

Feeling warm after their walk, all three visitors opted for ice creams rather than hot beverages and sweet treats. The delightful assistants both chose Magnum Classics while their chauffeur went for a small tub of strawberry ice cream manufactured in a town just a few miles west of Dawyck.

magnums
Assistants with ice creams at Dawyck.

When they had finished their ice creams and made use of the facilities, it was time for the long drive home. It had been their most distant day out of the year and they had thoroughly enjoyed the change of scene and the wonderful weather.

golden daffs at Dawyck
Springtime at Dawyck.
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14 thoughts on “Dawyck Botanic Garden in the spring

  1. What a wonderful outing. Fancy finding a North American Native Chief there. Was there any significance to the carving being there? Your dad looks dapper beside him. Hope you mom is feeling better. Hugs to all.

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    1. Thank you, Darlene. The Native American statue was carved out of a felled beech trunk and represents the strong ties Dawyck has with North America. It was carved by Peter Bowsher, who lives in the UK now but was born and brought up in Canada. There are quite a number of North American tree species in the garden, many of them introduced following plant collecting expeditions in the 19th Century. My mum is doing well and we all appreciate the hugs.

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    1. Thanks, Wendy. I think they’re a bit bemused by their new-found fame online, but they do enjoy reading about their exploits. They both want to keep on getting out and about for as long as possible, so hopefully there will be plenty more outings to come.

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  2. Great post. So glad to see Assistant #1 on an outing again. Rhododendron and daffodils are lovely. I have never seen a Tibetan cherry tree, and the bark is beautiful. Lunch looked lovely and ice cream a fine finishing touch. I am curious about the statue of the Indian and who he might be. All best to your sweet mom and dad.

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    1. Thank you, Wendy. The Indian was put up last year to commemorate links with North America (see also my reply to Darlene’s comment above). Lunch was delicious and the ice creams were very welcome. My mum and dad are most grateful for your kind words.

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  3. Ahh, lovely, I can almost smell the flowers! (and wish I could taste the marshmallow cake!) Dawyck is one of the places we just never got to visit when we lived over that way, and I wish we had because it looks lovely. What a delightful day out!

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