Benmore Botanic Garden offers a feast for all the senses. There are the herbaceous plants, rhododendrons and bamboo… the trees… the pond with its fountain… the wooden ‘book with fir cone’ sculpture…
winding paths…. the surrounding hills….the scent of azaleas…the buzz of bees…. birdsong….
And if all this sounds wonderful but exhausting there are plenty of places where you can sit and contemplate this lovely garden.
Such as here…
or here, with an uninterrupted view of the Redwood Avenue.
And if, when you’ve spent a while enjoying this feast of colour and scent, you feel like a feast of food, all you need to do is walk across the bridge…
and into Benmore’s shop and café, where you’re more than likely to be looked after by Nikki
Whether you’re absolutely ravenous or just fancy a snack then the café offers a wide range of delicious fare.
And you’ll also be given lots of information about the Walking with Poets residency because the shop and café staff have been supporting the project with huge enthusiasm; way beyond anything I might have expected. They really have been invaluable in spreading the word.
And as for encouraging people to write poems, well, I have only praise for their endeavours. Many thanks indeed.
And if all this talk is making you hungry for poetry, here is a prose poem that takes place in a café
In a cafe close to the Bundesbank she winces at the taste of this year’s first Beaujolais, allows the previous ten hours, driven by investors’ aspirations, exchange rates and the fickle balances of trade, to condense into that thing they’ve spoken of before but only vaguely. Once, in a bar, at the leaving party of a colleague who’s now dead. Once, while waiting in snow for the last tram going east, after having accompanied Japanese clients to a gala performance of Turandot.
Trying to assess the potential return he eats almost none of the vegetable soup, the carp or the pecan tart. When the cognac arrives he gets her permission to take off his jacket. She’s dazzled by the whiteness of his shirt, is watching the candlelight splash rainbows on the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons when he asks her (not in the language they use at work but in his native Sudetenland Czech) to confirm his analysis – that this is a rare equation; one where both variables are known.