Thursday, January 09, 2014

Sheffield Botanical Gardens; What Is This Plant?

Another trip over to the Sheffield Botanical Gardens this afternoon, after an arduous hour in John Lewis replacing half a dozen assorted pieces of Robert Welch cutlery that appear to have gone walkabout since the start of the year. It wasn't arduous at all. Quite the opposite, actually. John Lewis was pretty much deserted, so much so that I wandered up the escalators and bought some lovely little White Stuff woollies and an Alice Temperley dress. But back to the Botanical Gardens, beautifully stripped back by winter and experienced staff supported by tremendously knowledgeable volunteer gardeners...

Now, my charming, witty and erudite readers, I have a little task for you all. Hop in the car and belt up the M1 to Sheffield then career off at J31 along the A57; jump left onto the A61 and stay on it until you get to the big roundabout St Mary's Gate / Waitrose; take the first left onto the A625 Ecclesall Road, and stay on it until you come to the roundabout where you need to go right up the hill onto the B6069 Brocco Bank.  Follow the road up past the student uni flats on the left hand side and swing right as the road becomes Clarkehouse Road.  Near the pedestrian crossing you'll see free parking on both sides of the road.  Park up and stroll across to the Botanical Gardens. Free admission.

Walk downhill towards the fountain. Standing with your back to the fountain, sparkling droplets in the bright winter sunshine, walk up towards the glasshouses between the two large herbaceous borders.  About halfway up on the right hand side you'll see a gap in the hedge backing the border, where the following plant grows.  It's about 5' or 6' tall, woody and still with some crimson coloured racemes.  Those racemes would put you in mind of a Corylopsis Pauciflora.

At the end of last year I decided that I really ought to get my photos sorted out into some sort of meaningful order, rather than the strip-dumps of, "2013 summer?" "Sheffield 2013?" Some don't even have that measure of effort. Anyway, suffice to say I've dated, filed and shifted hundreds of photos from last year, and now I can't find a thing. Somewhere I have a picture of the fountain at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens; the one above's in Dublin.

Incidentally, the pictures above of the as-yet-unknown plant (which is just a thinly veiled plea to Helen Yemm to name it), which you'll see EVERYWHERE in Sheffield, were taken sometime in the Autumn.