Friday, May 8, 2009

Teddy Goes to a Garden

English people love gardens -- and lots of things like to grow here. There's enough rain (not too much, like you've been having) and sun (not too hot, like it gets in Oklahoma) and good soil. Yesterday we visited a place called the Lost Gardens of Heligan. They were started several hundred years ago -- the same family has owned the property for 400 years. In the old days, there were lots of servants and gardeners to take care of everything. But then, in the 20th century, lots of the men went off to war and the gardens grew over. Now they're being restored and they are really interesting. There are miles of trails wandering through plantings and meadows. We started on the woodland walk - a path through trees and wildflowers and some funny things like this giant head.

Then we cut across a big field to an area called the Jungle. We had to walk down a steep path. It's sort of in the bottom of a canyon. Flowering bushes bigger than trees towered over my head. The flowers were red and magenta and hot pink and white and lavender. These were rhododendrons. They don't like to live in Oklahoma. Mr. Jack has a couple of bushes but they are little and don't grow much. You'll see a picture of a medium-sized rhodie later.

There were several ponds with tiny fish down in the ravine. They were lined with giant tree ferns, palm trees and tall trees. One of the plants had huge leaves. Miss Elaine and Miss Zoe (her daughter) tried to figure out how to put me on one of the leaves. I was scared because I was afraid I would slide off and fall down and they wouldn't be able to reach me. Miss Zoe tied an elastic cord around my leg and tossed me onto a leaf. It wasn't so bad but I was glad when they pulled me up again. Miss Zoe made a joke about letting me bungee jump off the bridge. I didn't think that was very funny. I felt much better when I was wrapped around Miss Elaine. She has a little purse on a belt that she straps around her waist. Then she tucks me in and I can see everything really well. People seem to think it's funny to see a grown-up with a bear and we meet lots of nice people when they ask about me. I always tell them about you!

In addition to gardens, there were cattle and geese and chickens on the estate. Miss Zoe petted some of the cattle but I didn't.

This is my new friend, Miss Mary. She was working in one of the gardens. That's a rhododendron behind her. She asked about me.

Miss Elaine let her hold me. She was very nice. English people like bears. Can you think of some English bears you know about? I'll give you some hints. 1. He lives in the Hundred-Acre Woods, 2. His best friend is Christopher Robin, 3. His other friends are Eeyore, Tigger, and Piglet. I bet you've guessed already! And there's another famous bear who's named after a railroad station in London -- we took the train from that station, but I didn't see a bear. He wears a kind of raincoat and a floppy hat. Did you get the answers right -- Winnie the Pooh and Paddington?



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