Spring flowers in Bournemouth

I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and for you. And I think to myself…what a wonderful spring in Bournemouth! Thanks to daily walks around the gardens and parks in Bournemouth, I have realised how many beautiful flowers there are locally. So, if you’re a bit tired of negative news, here are some stunning photos of blooms I took throughout March, April and May. I’m sure you’ll be delighted by their beauty and start singing like Louis Armstrong…

*Two things I need to emphasise here before you start reading this blog post is that: firstly, I’m not a botanist, just an admirer of pretty spring blooms! I organised them in the post according to their colour. Special thanks to Mike A. who helped me to name some of the flowers I didn’t know 😉 Secondly, it’s important for me to say that I took these photos on my daily walks and always made sure to follow government advice about social distancing.

1.White flowers

Cherry blossoms, Arum Lilies, Japanese snowballs, Rhododendrons

The very first blooming trees I started noticing in mid-March were the cherry blossoms. Delicate white and pink flowers were emerging from private gardens and could be found growing in the middle of some roads, making driving more pleasant.

White cherry blossoms. UK wild flowers
Delicate white cherry blossoms.
Arum Lilies. Wild flowers in Bournemouth
Arum Lilies in the Japanese sector of the Upper Gardens.
Japanese Snowballs - Viburnum
Japanese snowballs – Viburnum. They look light and fluffy but I have to admit I’m not the biggest fan of their smell.
Rhododendrons are a symbol of caution, temptation and danger, probably because of their toxicity…

2. Light purple and blue flowers

Rosemary, rhododendrons, bluebells, cotoneaster

Bushes of Rosemary. Wild flowers UK.
Bushes of rosemary were attracting a lot of bees and I managed to capture the moment when one of them was pollinating the purple flowers. I just can’t emphasise how intense the smell coming from those bushes was: a combination of freshness and a herbal scent.
Purple rhododendrons
Rhododendrons bloom in different colours. One of them is blueish/purplish. Two bumblebees were lured by the flowers’ sweetness.

Tiny bluebells covering the Gardens’ fields, kissed by the sunlight, is one of the most beautiful views of the spring. Bluebells are a symbol of humility and gratitude. They are protected by law and you should not pick them for commercial purposes.

Bluebells. Wild flowers UK
Bluebells growing in the Bournemouth Central Gardens.
Blue cotoneaster is a tree I discovered this year. I might have seen it before, but this year I paid more attention to these tiny blue beauties.

3. Pink flowers

Magnolias, rhododendrons, cherry blossoms, primroses

Another tree with blooms which started appearing in mid-March are Magnolias. They are a symbol of dignity, pure beauty and nobility, and when you look at them, you kind of understand why.

Pink Magnolias
Pink magnolias.
pink rhododendrons
The focus of the camera is on the pink rhododendrons, not me! Well, you can’t be in the spotlight when surrounded by spring flowers!
pink rhododendrons
A chameleon trying to hide among rhododendrons. The attempt was unsuccessful.
pink cherry blossoms
Just speechless at the branches of these pink cherry blossoms.
Cherry blossoms’ lives are very short though, and after two weeks they start losing petals. But even after falling, petals cover the pavements with a beautiful pink or white carpet.
The intense pink of primroses almost hurts my eyes. This is their genuine colour – no filter was used for this photo!

4. Dark purple and red flowers

Lilacs, rhododendrons, daisies, red roses

As I have mentioned before, I was trying to achieve colour-organised photos of flowers or some kind of gradient sequencing in my blog post. Here comes the intense colour of dark purple and red blooms.

Purple lilacs
If somebody really forced me to choose my favourite spring flowers, I would probably say lilacs, mainly because of their smell. Lilacs are a symbol of renewal and confidence.
Some lilacs in a vase have been a beautiful backdrop for my photos. a) A rhubarb crumble, b) My favourite breakfast: chocolate and banana oats. c) An essential oil diffuser, which helps me to relax at night.
red rhododendrons
Another rhododendron – this time in a beautiful red colour. Don’t be misled by their beauty…did you know that eating a large amount of rhododendrons can be toxic for humans?
red daisy
I’ve always thought of daisies as white flowers, so seeing some red ones was a surprise. This photo was taken in the Lower Gardens.
Red roses
Red roses – I see them bloom, for me and for you…

5. Yellow and orange flowers

Gorse, marigolds, tulips and euphorbia

Gorse shrubs are bushes of yellow flowers with a beautiful coconut butter smell. You can find plenty of them on Hengistbury Head. Their sunshiny colour is beautifully intensified in the sunlight.

yellow gorse. Wild flowers UK
Gorse is a symbol of love and fertility in the Celtic tradition.
Yellow gorse
I couldn’t get enough of this smell.
A photo of marigolds taken by the sea – don’t they look beautiful in the sunshine?
Tulips and euphorbia
Multicolour tulips and euphorbia. Photo taken in the Lower Gardens.

I could have uploaded hundreds of flower photos I took in the last couple of months, but scrolling through this blog post would take ages! I’m so grateful for this beautiful spring even though it’s happening in some really worrying circumstances. I think the ban on travelling to remote places made me start noticing and appreciating what’s around me much more. Spring 2020 will become an unforgettable one because of two contrasting reasons. The world pandemic and the anxiety connected with it, but also so much more appreciation for the local parks, gardens and spring flowers. Which one is your favourite?

Bournemouth Central Gardens
Bournemouth Central Gardens.

How do you ease your mind while self-isolating? Life in quarantine.

If somebody had told me one month ago I would be writing a blog post with this title, I would probably have advised this person to go to a psychiatric hospital. Yet, however surreal it sounds, we’ve all been told to quarantine to prevent the spread of the killer disease COVID-19. We’re staying in our four walls, watching distressing news, feeling anxious about our health, and uncertain about the future. That’s why it’s important to ease our minds by doing simple and enjoyable activities and making use of the one walk or exercise a day as advised by the government. In this blog post, I’ll describe the quarantine routines that bring me a feeling of normality and happiness, and I hope someone will benefit from it.

Spring flowers in Bournemouth
A photo of roses and their petals taken while walking around my neighbourhood.

First of all, join support groups in your area on social media

Think about how you can help others and ask for it when in need. I wanted to register as an NHS volunteer, but their website says they’ve had enough applications (750,000!) and are not recruiting new volunteers. I still keep checking, though. Instead, you can join the Covid-19 Community Support Facebook group in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. It will make you feel part of the wider community, where you can ask for recommendations and help, and assist others.

Prepare delicious breakfasts

Waking up with the thought of eating a heavenly breakfast while drinking your favourite coffee is one of those little things that will make you look forward to mornings. It will prevent you from sleeping too long and you’ll be more likely to stick to your morning routine. I’ve almost never skipped breakfast and consider it the most important meal to fuel me with energy for the rest of the day. Now, with some more time on my hands in the mornings, I try to make our breakfast look like a work of art – apart from being nutritious, it should look good. Believe me, beautifully presented food will make you and your family smile and you don’t need a special occasion to do that.

Porridge bowl with coconut milk
Porridge bowl. I’ve recently been obsessed with making oats using different kinds of plant milk and ingredients. Head to my Instagram account to see the recipe for the porridge above.

Take photos of blooming trees and flowers and have some fresh flowers at home in a vase

Whenever you go out for a walk to your local parks or gardens, take some photos or videos of the spring which is currently emerging everywhere. Daffodils, magnolias, tulips, and cherry blossoms are around your corner. That way you’ll at least be able to look at photos of nature when you need it. I’ve also been making sure that we always have some fresh flowers at home. You can obviously buy flowers in the supermarket, but cutting them freshly from the wilderness is just slightly more magical.

Magnolia looks stunning in spring.
Cherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms look amazing in a vase but unfortunately only for two days. They lose their petals very quickly.

Explore your neighbourhood, local gardens and parks

We’re advised to avoid using cars to drive to the areas we loved visiting before the coronavirus outbreak. Unfortunately, in my case it means I need to forget about my favourite New Forest and the Jurassic Coast for the foreseeable future, and can only remind myself of these stunning sights by visiting my old blog posts (here and here). There is a positive to this restriction though! It means we’re creating less fumes, making the air clean, and we’re encouraged to explore the local area, which I personally never did before. After a short stroll around my neighborhood, I realised I live in a beautiful area with interestingly designed houses. Do you know your neighbourhood well?

Queens Park in Bournemouth
Our local park – Queen’s Park

At the moment we live close to Queen’s Park, which is very spacious and you can easily keep the required two-metre distance from others. Remember that going for a walk is also enjoyable at night and it’s less likely you’ll meet other people. As horrible as it sounds, we should be avoiding walking next to people who are not from our household…

As always, I encourage everyone to walk through the Central and Upper Gardens in Bournemouth, where I used to live (blog posts about the Gardens here and here), but I probably should not go right now as it’s too far.

Other obvious pastimes

Exercise and yoga – exercise will keep you fit and give you a dopamine boost, and yoga will calm your stressed mind! Instagram accounts that will motivate you include @kayla_itsines, a fitness guru from Australia who uploads short free videos to work on your abs, upper and lower body, which you can do without any equipment. You can also download her app, which is free for one month. There’s also @selfit1 – a local personal trainer (my trainer before the quarantine), who gives some free training on Zoom. Another local beauty is @jenniferkesik – a very positive, Bournemouth-based yoga teacher who gives free online lessons on Zoom!

Exercising at home
I try to exercise every other day (I’m not always motivated though!). Here I am doing a plank for one minute which is always a struggle! It’s perfect for strengthening your body core. He’s got his heavy bar bells; I have my light dumbbell. I also drink a berry smoothie with protein powder after exercising – cheers!

Watch Netflix (hello Captain Obvious!) – I recommend two crime series, called The Stranger and Safe, which are based on Harlan Coben’s books.

Learn something new! To learn a new language, download Duolingo, and for other courses check udemy.com, Google Digital Garage or HubSpot Academy. I am studying Content Marketing at the moment with HubSpot Academy, which is helping me to develop my blogging skills.

Learning is always more enjoyable with some mouthwatering dessert and coffee.

CALL/VIDEO CALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS to let them know you are okay and to ask about their health – I’ve capitalised this sentence because it’s one of the most important things these days, especially if you are far away from your loved ones.

The most important thing while being self isolated or quarantined is to change our negative thoughts into the positive ones. You’re not ‘trapped’ in your house, but ‘safe and protected’. It’s a war against an invisible enemy, but not a real war and no bombs bombard your roof. God bless the Internet and being able to connect with the world, friends and family. When there was the Spanish Flu pandemic in the 1920s, people did not have this privilege. So focus on the little enjoyable activities and try to look at the bright side of all the aspects of how our lives look now.

What are your ways of coping with the current situation? Stay safe x