The other day, on a single sunny afternoon sandwiched between two wet ones, I visited a well-kept secret: Worcester College's extensive gardens. For almost three years I have walked past this college at least once a week en route to the station, at certain times noticing an overhanging magnolia tree; but it was only when I met a friend, fresh from attending a wedding there, that I discovered that those walls contain a real urban oasis.
We also visited the chapel, which is adorned literally from floor to ceiling. The pews are decorated with carved animals, including a dodo and a walrus, which made me wonder whether Lewis Carroll had ever visited, and his wandering eye found inspiration during a boring sermon...?
for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
All in all a lovely afternoon: I enjoyed good company, feasted on beauty, learnt new, unexpected things about dragonflies and poetry, enjoyed the sunshine - simple pleasures, freely and easily given and received.
Since my visit I have discovered Worcester's website, and the slideshow of photos makes me want to go back again, to see it in different seasons! There's also a blog by the gardening team, so presumably people who know about these things can enjoy what's going on, and maybe even pick up some useful tips.