Yesterday afternoon my personal charabanc conveyed me to Mount Stewart on the Ards peninsula. The reason for my visitation was to view the display of rhododendrons. These are not the two foot examples found at the local garden centre. These are truly specimen plants. Many of them are thirty feet in height, with a similar width. Lady Edith Londonderry who laid out the gardens which we now see, in the 1920's and 1930's ,certainly thought on a grandiose scale. Mind you she wasn't starting with a blank canvas.
The sunny afternoon had attracted perhaps upwards of a couple of thousand people to the gardens. A good many of these did not venture further than the lawns behind the house. The younger members of this assemblage sprawled on the grass. The older and more organised individuals had arrived with their collapseable chairs and bottles of chilled wine. The dear old National Trust, unbeknownst to myself, had organised a jazz band to entertain the populace. Had I had the perspicacity to arrive with a supply of vinous liquid I might well have been tempted to join this throng and doze contentedly in the sun rather than perambulate around the gardens. A lesson learnt!