Last Christmas I got a year’s membership as a ‘friend’ of the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens. You get a smart little card you can write your name on which you can show someone who doesn’t care and then you can go into the gardens for free.
It’s good because it’s like a park but you have to pay to get in. This means you don’t get so many problem drinkers kicking the heads off of daffodils and passing out in the sensory garden. I work right around the corner so on my lunch break I can wander down to the Co-Op, pick up a meal deal, and then stroll into an earthly paradise pausing only to flash my exclusive full colour membership card before being waved in.
Once inside I could sit on the benches near the entrance, eat my sandwiches in silence, look at the trees stripped naked by winter and think about death.
Or I could wander down to the big pond, watch the moorhens play with their offspring, and think about the fragility of human relationships, how I should call my parents more often, and death.
Perhaps I could wander into the splendid glasshouses marvelling at the wide range of cacti and succulents that flourish in the moist warm environment, and think of the house I call home—a rental I’ll soon no longer be able to afford, full of its own indigenous plant life growing beneath the plaster on my bedroom wall, filling my lungs—and death.
All in all, it’s a great place to visit and well worth an hour of your time if you ever find yourself at a loose end in Cambridge!