The Gardens of Cambridge University

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Walkway at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

Image: Bob O'Hara, 23 April 2009 [larger view].

According to the photographer, the director led them on a tour of the gardens. He said it was laid out by one of Darwin's mentors to show the variation in the plants. Apparently, the trees were paired up to show morphological variation by Henslow, the man who recommended that Darwin accompany the captain on the Beagle's famous voyage. The director of the gardens was really pleased to have worked this out: it ties in with Darwin's intellectual development.

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Yes, the gardens are lovely. It's just a shame that I hadn't realised they were there until a few weeks ago - I'm graduating on Saturday. Bummer!

If you're interested in the connection with Darwin, the Fitzwilliam museum in Cambridge has a wonderful exhibit on at the moment: better-funded museums around the world have borrowed Cambridge University's large collection of Darwin's stuff, so the exhibit focuses on the art and the people that influenced his thinking, as well as the effects that his ideas had on his contemporaries. I just went to see it today and it was a wonderfully different perspective