A bunch of flowers from Son on Mothering Sunday – made by his own fair hands from tissue paper – inspired me to sort out pictures from a summer day out at the National Wildflower Centre. That plus the thought of warm sunshine and being outdoors without multiple layers in these chilly spring days – especially chilly in the UK this morning as we witnessed a solar eclipse. A weird sensation but incredible at the same time.
Just five miles from the centre of Liverpool, the National Wildflower Centre has 35 acres and 400 species of flowers in seasonal displays. Run by the charity Landlife, this formerly derelict site has been turned into the perfect habitat for wildflowers. My vision was that we would be (almost) the only people there, wandering amongst those wildflowers in the glorious sunshine. Reality struck – it was jam packed, we barely managed to squeeze our car into a spare piece of space. Entrance was free (for one day only), this had attracted all and sundry. That plus a scarecrow display and trail, a dog show and hot weather meant the hordes had descended.
Still, although crowded by the entrance, once inside it was fine and there was plenty of room for everyone. We set off on the trail for scarecrows. Son got stuck in with gusto and led the search, we ticked off those beauties one by one.
While Son watched canines of every shape and size arriving for the dog show, we listed to a male voice choir – elderly gents having a whale of a time with a great sense of humour which was infectious.
Lovely views and gorgeous flowers everywhere, the whole place also had a bit of an alternative vibe going on – we loved it.
The estate actually once belonged to a brother of William Gladstone. The mansion no longer stands but we found some old stones and a plan of the house in its heyday. They tested Stephenson’s Rocket on the drive here – history galore but you just had to seek it out.
We walked along an impressive roof-top garden, taking in the views until Son spotted something far more interesting down below. A great play area for children with a giant beehive, treehouse, climbing wall and other good stuff. We parked ourselves on a bench, he made use of all these goodies.
A beautiful spot close to the middle of the city, we had a great day out but would love to go back on a “normal” day when things were less hectic. A great idea too – conserving those beautiful wildflowers and turning somewhere derelict into something special. It even encouraged us to set up our own little wildflower patch at home – just need to wait until summer to check how successful that was!