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May 16th 2017
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: 44.8374, -0.576144

Our last day back in Bordeaux. We opted for the Botanical Gardens tour on the opposite side of the river. This is an interesting project which is educational and research rather than a pretty place to visit. They are running out of funding and it is beginning to show. They don't charge an entrance as they say no one will come if they do. It is good that school parties can come here and learn about plants you can eat, plants which only grow on rocks or sand etc. They have a big greenhouse and at the moment they are showing Mediterranean plants which means they don't have to heat the greenhouse so it is cheaper. They do have solar panels on top to help with the electricity bills and they collect all the rain water. Despite the money shortages the guides were enthusiastic about all their future projects and I hope they do well.After this the coach did a brief tour of Bordeaux for those who hadn't had time to see the city. The weather was still glorious so we had our last pression beer in a little café on the Quai. The Captains farewell party was the usual introductions and thank yous to all the staff, followed by a wonderful lecture by Monty Don. All of you who watch Gardener's World will know him. It was a brilliant talk- best of the week. He was supposed to talk about French Gardens but instead thank heaven, he gave the history of his present garden and how it all came about. There were loads of good slides showing the work in progress. He speaks with great feeling and doesn't need notes and is also amusing especially about his dog Nigel, who appears in many shots of the programme. We were able to go up and ask questions after and he was very approachable.So that was the end of our tour as we were up at crack of dawn the following day and back to a rainy England. As I said before it is also the end of these blogs as the site is closing down. Hopefully I will find another site.For those of you who have used this site in the past there is a way of saving your work if you go to the website.

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20th May 2017

Am envying you the Monty Don experience - am a great fan ! Have you read 'The Jewel Garden' ? I have a copy you're welcome to read.x

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