Recreating Eden: A Natural History of Botanical Gardens I spent some delightful hours wondering around it, and then exploring its worldwide influence in other gardens and scientific institutions.
The garden itself was begun by Royals on Royal land more than two centuries ago. This picture was taken during my visit several years ago near Queen Charlotte's Cottage. She was, you'll remember, the much beloved spouse of George III. He was, you'll also remember, the king when the 13 colonies broke away from Britain, and for whom I was raised to have a visceral dislike.
While many of my political ideas have changed since my Southern California childhood, a deep distrust of monarchy persists. The current hoopla about Elizabeth's 60 years as queen leaves me cold at best and angry over the waste of money at worst. That's why I think so highly of the two birds you see on the right side of the photo: they're Canada geese who have invaded the gardens and who do what Canada geese do everywhere, poop in the grass.