Sometimes I think I work in Paradise - or an offcut of it, anyway. At the moment, the Gardens are a sheer sensory feast; everywhere I turn, everything I touch... I am on overload already, Muse-driven and buzzing as I am, and the intensity of a simple walk to the café and back is almost too much.
Textures, patterns, colours, smells; tactile and visual, the pleasing and the startling. All that is richest is here.
The elegance of a Metasequoia, its form all repeat patterns moving from the macro to the micro level -and then the shock of its silken touch. One imagines all conifer needles must be equally as sharp and prickling, yet these are like velvet. The lovely random strewings of new mown grass across the lawns; and the cut-grass scent rising in the damp air. Black veins on the blazing magenta of Geranium sanguineum, and gold-dust pollen on the rust-red flowers of day lilies. Perfumes of lavender and cedar, of roses and pine resin, of escallonia in the sun and wet leaves in the shade. The spiral-crinkled top of my Chelsea bun, veiled in powder sugar. The unfolding waves of different tastes and different sugarinesses, and different textures crisp and soft, in my mouth, as I unroll it and eat.
The big wisteria on the back of the building next to the office is having a second flush of blossom, and as you pass it the scent comes down and envelops you; sweet and smoky at once, like acacia honey and Laphroaig mixed. Everywhere you go, it is delicious and sensual being at Kew at this time of year. Bring your heart, your eyes, and all of your senses, flung wide open in expectation of pleasures; and of course, bring your camera...