Friday, 14 March 2008

Spring is in the air...

Now that the March storms seem to have passed - with the one big, final flourish earlier this week - the weather seems to be tentatively heading (at last) towards Spring.

Actually, it's all been a little confusing because Easter is so early this year - I mean, it's Palm Sunday in two days. However, the spring flowers seem to have woken up to the fact, because there are now daffodils everywhere, some trees are coming into blossom and forsythia bushes are decked out in yellow.

So, assuming the weather holds up over the week-end, it's a great time for a Spring walk. Close to home, Holland Park and Kensington Gardens are obvious choices and, although not open this week-end, the early Easter means that the delightful Chelsea Physic Garden will be opening Wednesdays to Fridays and on Sundays from 19th March.

But the best place of all in West London has to be Kew Gardens, where the display is unbeatable. 5 million spring bulbs provide an unrivalled show of colour, with crocuses and tulips alongside long walks of daffodils. The Kew web-site features a helpful 'bulb-map' so you can concentrate on the areas of most colour (fortunately, alongside the main paths), and the map has an interactive feature which indicates which plants are in flower at the moment. Of course, Kew provides somewhere to dash into the warm and dry if it does rain, but it also provides a lot of children's activities.

Special events for children over Easter (from Good Friday, 21st March) include "Giant Bunnies", featuring real rabbits brought along by the Giant Rabbit Rescue Centre, (the display is located near the Brentford Gate). The Giant Rabbits are very friendly but (as the name suggests) huge, weighing in at 18 lbs! Between March 21st and 20th April, there's a spring bulb trail for children, with prizes available, and on Easter Sunday an Easter Egg hunt. Children collect tokens from 'chicks' (OK, it's a person in a costume...) and receive a chocolate egg from the Easter Bunny. The Easter egg hunt starts at 10am and finishes 2pm. Participation in the Easter Egg Hunt is free once in the Gardens.

So, why not hop along...?

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