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No, nothing to do with Iceland.

I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens this afternoon. It was a treat to be there on my own, on a quiet sunny weekday. P. and I had a lunchtime seminar to go to in the city and then he was meeting clients. They have an apartment opposite the gardens. So after a coffee, I left them to it and went to visit the newly refurbished volcano garden.

As I walked in the garden gates, I was struck by the new sports dome being built across the river. How beautiful it looked in that cool Autumn sunshine, all silvery like an alien spaceship. I was very taken with it.

The volcano garden has many interesting contrasts in texture and materials.

The ‘volcano’ is actually a reservoir. The little floating islands are planted with filtering plants. They clean the water of excess nutrients so it can then be used to water the gardens.

The plantings around the volcano are predominantly succulents and some native plants. They are all mulched in gravel.

The planting is extensive and the effect, after a few years of growth, will be quite spectacular.

It was a beautiful day to be in the gardens. I felt very lucky.

The moor hens around the tea rooms have developed a serious caffeine addiction.

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