Botanic Gardens Beastie - CrawCrafts Beasties

Beasties in the Botanic Gardens

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Beastieland… We’ve missed you! And just to show that I haven’t spent the last couple of weeks sitting on the sofa eating crisps (well, not all of them), I’ve got a brand new Explorer Beastie adventure to share over the next two posts. Where did we go? Well, when the sun breaks through the rainclouds here in Dublin, one of the nicest places to be is the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.

So, if you go down to the woods today…
Arboretum at the National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties… You’ll see BEASTIES!
Explorer Beastie in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties
Explorer Beastie wasn’t the only monster in the gardens that day, either. Check out this spooky tree we found, with what looks like eyes all over its trunk!
Spooky Tree - Botanic Gardens Dublin - CrawCrafts Beasties

Our Botanic Gardens aren’t especially big – they’re nowhere near as massive as Kew Gardens, for instance. But there are lots of quiet hideaways and secret corners where a little monster can relax and enjoy being outdoors among the plants.

We both really liked the Chaintent, with its human-sized benches and twisty wisteria branches for a Beastie to climb!
Chaintent, National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesEven as summer here draws to a close, there are plenty of bright blooms to enjoy too. The hydrangeas are very much in flower!
Beastie in the Blooms - CrawCrafts BeastiesNext, we made our way down to the lily pond.
Explorer Beastie at the Lily Pond - CrawCrafts BeastiesThere are still enough lily pads on the surface that Explorer Beastie figured he could cross to the other side by walking over them, but I encouraged him to use the picturesque bridge instead.
Lily Pond Bridge, National Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd further on… HERE BE MONSTERS!
Monster trees, that is.
Monster Trees at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’m not exactly sure what species it is – I couldn’t see a sign or tag near it. Anyone want to help us out here?

As I tried to figure out the identity of the mysterious giant tree, Explorer Beastie decided to have a go at climbing it.
Climbing Trees - CrawCrafts BeastiesI think we’re going to be here a while.

So, I headed off to take a look at the herbaceous border. It’s a riot of colour at this time of year, and is humming with insects making the most of the last days of summer.

Wait, what’s that?
BumbleBeastie in the Herbaceous Border - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s a bit hard to see among all those yellow flowers but…
BumbleBeastie at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesYes, it’s a BumbleBeastie!

I followed her until she landed on a nice purple thistle, where I could get a clearer photo.
BumbleBeastie on a Thistle - CrawCrafts BeastiesThen Explorer Beastie found us.

Beasties in the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts Beasties“Hello! Want to join us for lunch?”
“Love to, but I’m soooooo busy! You’re welcome to stick around while I work though… If you can keep up!”

She wasn’t kidding. She must have visited every flower in that border!
BumbleBeastie at the Herbaceous Border - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe even met some of her six-legged insect counterparts along the way.
Bees and BumbleBeastie at the Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe left her tucking into some lamb’s ear – a favourite bee treat!
BumbleBeastie and Lamb's Ear - Botanic Gardens - CrawCrafts BeastiesI wonder who else might be in the Botanic Gardens today? You’ll have to join us next time to find out!

PS If you can keep up with their hectic pace, you can adopt a BumbleBeastie of your very own. Have a look in the Beastie Store!

Autumnal Colours – Explorer Beastie at Kew

Hey there Beastie friends! It was a bit wild and wintry when I woke up this morning, so I thought that today’s post could maybe bring a splash of autumnal colour to a January Tuesday!

Continuing on from last week’s London-based post, we’ll follow Explorer Beastie as he steps off the road less travelled and turns his paws towards a much more well-known attraction. Where are you now, Explorer Beastie?
Crunching through Autumnal Leaves - CrawCrafts BeastiesKew Gardens!”

And it looks like autumn is the perfect time to visit. Look at those stunning colours!

Chihuly Glass and Autumnal Colours at Kew - CrawCrafts Beasties

And hey, wait a sec… Who’s this?
Meeting Garcia Beastie - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s our old buddy Garcia Beastie, of course! Fancy meeting you here… How about we explore together?

And it wasn’t long before the Beasties found something interesting…
Garcia Beastie and Autumnal Fungus - CrawCrafts Beasties“Ooooh, check this out!”
Explorer Beastie has to go in for a closer look.

Autumnal Fungus Fun - CrawCrafts Beasties

And that was is only the beginning. Look at these stunning autumnal shades!
Autumnal Yellows - CrawCrafts BeastiesIt’s almost possible for Beasties to get lost in among all that colour. Can you spot them?Beasties Under the Tree - CrawCrafts Beasties
Of course, you can only see so much from ground level… Especially if you’re a mere 6 inches tall. Time to take this adventure up a level!
Treetop Walkway in Autumn - CrawCrafts BeastiesThe treetop walkway is really spectacular… But the boys really had to hold on tight! It was a little breezy up there!

Still, they were able to spot a familiar sight from those (sometimes dizzying) heights…
The Temperate House from the Treetops - CrawCrafts Beasties“Look, it’s the Temperate House! It was closed last time we visited, wasn’t it?”
“It was! We should probably make that our next stop!”

And I guess that’s where we’ll pick up next time! Be sure to join us on Tuesday for more monster adventures… And if you’ve ever been to Kew Gardens, why not tell us all about it in the comments?

See you next week!

The Jade VIne - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties

Paddy, Plunkett and Some Plants!

Plunkett has been in architectural heaven since the lads headed to Cambridge a few weeks back…Plunkett Loves Architecture - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… And he’d happily continue on in this vein indefinitely.The Round Church, Cambridge - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Oooh, look! It’s the Norman doorway of the famous Round Church. Paddy, did you know that it’s one of four mediaeval round churches that are still in use in England todaaaaa…”

“No way, Plunkett! It’s my turn to decide what we’re doing! Come on, we’re off to…Paddy's Choice - The Botanic Garden! H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… The Botanic Garden! Mad plants ahoy!”Paddy, In His Element - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThere are over 8,000 species of plants crammed into this 40 acre garden, from every imaginable habitat. Deserts, bogland, jungle… You name it, it’s here! And of course, Paddy was determined to see (and climb) as many of them as possible. This photo was taken just as he spotted something good. Seconds later, only a Paddy-shaped dust cloud remained.Paddy and Plunkett in the Botanic Garden - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesBut Plunkett takes things at a more sedate pace. That has its rewards too… Look what he found!Plunkett's Lucky Find -H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesThis is a jade vine, which hails from Indonesia. If you can believe it, this crazy-looking hanging plant is a member of the legume family – it’s a long way from your average runner bean though!The Jade VIne - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesIn the wild, the jade vine is pollinated by bats, which up until recently has stopped it from producing any seeds. However, thanks to one devoted research student getting stuck in and pollinating the flowers by hand, the vine has set seed for the first time. Now seeds are being sent to other botanic gardens around the UK – maybe even one near some of you!

Meanwhile, Plunkett finally caught up with Paddy…Catching Up With Paddy at the Lake - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… Just in time to take the stepping stone path across the bog garden’s lake!Beasties on the Stepping Stones - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesAnd on the other side, they were first plunged into the cool green depths of a bamboo forest…Beastie-Sized Bamboo Forest - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties… Before emerging in the arboretum!A Tree WIth a Wall - H Crawford/CrawCrafts Beasties“Hey look, Plunkett! This tree has a wall in it!”

“Hmmm… I wonder why?”

Later research revealed that this wild pear tree had split, and the brickwork is there ‚Äčto keep it together. The tree doesn’t appear to mind though – it certainly seems to be doing just fine!

And further down the road in the pinetum, Paddy found ample fodder for some really terrible puns!Don't Needle Paddy! H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesPaddy Pining Away - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesResin D'etre - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesUh-oh! He’s had enough, and scarpered to The Mount to check out the view. Fortunately, he’s still happy to share the chair he found here with his old buddy – as long as Paddy promises to keep quiet!
The View From The Mount - H Crawford/CrawCrafts BeastiesHave you had any horticultural adventures recently? If so, please be sure to leaf a comment below! Or feel free to share your worst plant-based pun… Paddy’s always on the lookout for new material.

Here’s wishing you all a super week, catch you next Tuesday!