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Wednesday 29th June, part 2. Very shortly after starting to explore the Tresco Abbey Gardens, by which time the threat of rain had lifted, and having had the obligatory and necessary coffee, I was absolutely delighted to see a red squirrel – and then another. I had no idea they were on the Isles of Scilly.

Here are just a few of the over 100 photos I took on my way round the very extensive gardens.

Mixed planting in the kitchen garden

I had now been in the gardens perhaps an hour, totally absorbed in what I was seeing. But at this point I looked up and saw the sea in the distance. I came to, and suddenly remembered where I was. It was a strange feeling, coming back to space and time.

Plenty of seating available
This was almost all that remained of the Benedictine St Nicholas Priory, built probably in the 12th century. It is thought likely that the priory fell into disuse because of pirate pressure and desecration in the late 15th century, rather than being abandoned because of the Reformation half a century later. The locals continued to use the area as a graveyard.
The Tresco Children’ by David Wynne, 1990

My peregrination had brought me back near the entrance. Whether these were the same two squirrels, I could not know, but as they played they rushed past me, apparently oblivious of my presence .

In the grounds, part of the Valhalla Museum collection of ships’ figureheads

As I went back to the cafe at the entrance for a something to eat, I couldn’t resist taking another photo of the creature (was it the same?) that had greeted me earlier on.

Also at the entrance there was a small exhibition on the history of the Gardens.

Cornwall voted Leave in 2016

Guess who visited while I was consuming my soup…

Resuming my exploration of the gardens, I was pleased to see these Echium candicans, ‘Pride of Madeira’. I had bought the T-shirt when on that island. The flowerhead is about one-and-a-half times the size of a lupin head and much more dense.

The sun had been out for some time now, and I was sitting contemplating this area (the following three pictures) when it occurred to me that it would be a shame to see nothing more of the island while I was there.

So I made my way to the exit,

then turned back past the heliport, to the nearest beach. The sun had gone in now, and the breeze, from which the gardens shelter their visitors, was quite fierce. I saw no attraction in hanging around there,

so retraced my steps, past the entrance to the gardens this time, making for a round lake I could see on my map, hoping to be able to get close to it.

The Tresco Children’ from the outside

Sadly, I could get no closer to the lake than this, despite walking all the way round its extensive perimeter.

In due course, I was back at the heliport, but on the wrong side.

As I said in my previous post, I saw the previous flight come in and take off. Once the barrier was lifted, it was safe for me to cross to reception.

The following day – St Ives.