My personal blog as a 'grown-up' Goth and Romantic living in the Highlands of Scotland. I write about the places I go, the things I see and my thoughts on life as a Goth and the subculture, and things in the broader realm of the Gothic and darkly Romantic. Sometimes I write about music I like and sometimes I review things. This blog often includes architectural photography, graveyards and other images from the darker side of life.

Goth is not just about imitating each other, it is a creative movement and subculture that grew out of post-punk and is based on seeing beauty in the dark places of the world, the expression of that in Goth rock. It looks back to the various ways throughout history in which people have confronted and explored the macabre, the dark and the taboo, and as such I'm going to post about more than the just the standards of the subculture (Siouxsie, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, et al) and look at things by people who might not consider themselves anything to do with the subculture, but have eyes for the dark places. The Gothic should not be limited by what is already within it; inspiration comes from all places, the key is to look with open eyes, listen carefully and think with an open mind..

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Inverness Botanic Gardens & Floral Hall

❀❁✽❀Floral Fun & Afternoon Tea❀✽❁❀
Raven, K., M., and I all met up at Inverness Botanic Gardens (which you can find out more about on their website ::here::). K. and M. are primarily into Lolita fashion, whereas I am a Goth that dabbles in Lolita. I felt like wearing a Goth outfit with Lolita influences rather than a proper Gothic Lolita outfit as it was not a proper Lolita meet-up, just a gathering of frilly friends. 

Raven and I had been to the Botanic Gardens the previous week, and Raven wanted to go back to take photographs of the flowers. Raven took most of the images here, which is why he is not in many of them. Others were taken by M. All photographs are credited in their captions.

K. took this photograph...
 of Raven taking the next photograph of K taking this photograph..
As you can see in this image, I am wearing the silver wig again! This is the wig that was cut by a stranger the last time I wore it out, and since then it was retired awaiting repairs. I sewed some wefts of replacement hair in, but the texture of the new wefts was much shinier and more synthetic, so I stopped at the bare minimum to avoid the wig cap showing. I am going to buy some better quality synthetic hair to continue the replacements. In order to hide parts where the wig cap is showing - partly because the wig has thinned with time as hairs have shed, and partly because a thick lock of hair was cut off - there are quite a few hair flowers attached to the back of the wig. I felt that the flowers went with the botanic theme quite well, so were a good way of disguising that. 

K. and M. and I kept swapping M's smartphone between us.
Photograph by Raven.  
I have a special fondness for cacti and succulents - I grow LOTS of snake plants (sansevieria trifasciata) which are currently residing with my father as there's just not space for them in my apartment, money trees (crassula ovata, also known as jade trees) and for a while grew a little cactus, the exact kind of which I don't know. I really love the bold, architectural and geometric shapes you get with many cacti and succulents. They're always very interesting to look at. Not all cacti are very spiny or spiky looking - the ones I am posing with in the picture below are actually furry, but if you look carefully, there's spines within the fur, too!

On the path down into the cactus grotto.
Photograph by Raven.
The cactus house at Inverness Botanic Gardens is on two levels, with a sunken area involving a large mirror that gives a "cave" effect, which M. and K. were sitting in front of. Raven did well to keep himself out of the mirror photograph, but did not spot me rather theatrically "sneaking" up on M. and K.! 

M. and K. giggling,  me sneaking up on them.
Photograph by Raven.
Above the cactus grotto is a path that goes to the tropical green house and past the carnivorous plant display - I quite like those, too!Of course, we did not stay indoors, and so we had a wonder around in the outdoor gardens, too. I wish we had spent more time in the tropical green-house, and that I could find the charger for my camera, because I would have loved to have taken pictures of all the beautiful flowers (and fish) in there. 

Black and white and floral.
Photograph by M. Editing by HouseCat.
The botanic gardens stretch quite a way outside - further than I had realised on our first visit. I saw this dark green shrub with huge clusters of lovely white flowers and just knew I had to stand in front of it for a portrait! This photograph was taken by M. but I did the effects and filters on it afterwards. I think the black fabric flowers make an interesting contrast with the real white flowers. 

M. and K. arrive in the magic garden..
Photograph by Raven.
There is a "Jungle Path" intended for children through some Buddleia shrubs that M. and K. decided to go through - as considerably taller than them, and wearing precarious shoes, I decided to stay outside. Raven managed to get a rather good photograph of them that makes it look like they just emerged into a magical world, and M. has such an expression of wonderment on her face in this! I like how K. is standing near pink flowers that match her dress, and M. is standing near Buddleia flowers that closer match her dress! 

Channeling my inner Khaleesi
Photograph by Raven. 
We walked up a rather narrow and rocky path (hard in high-heeled platform Lolita shoes!) to a lovely viewing point, and I tried to pose on one of the rocks. Raven managed to catch this photo of me looking imperious before the illusion of majesty was ruined by my wobbling, flailing, and needing Raven's assistance to get down off the rock. 

K. under an umbrella, looking out over the meadows.
Photograph and editing by HouseCat, using M.s smartphone.
Unfortunately it rained quite early on in our walk around the gardens, so we sheltered under a tree where there was a bench, on the little mound overlooking the wildlife meadow and apple trees. K. and M. had an umbrella to share between them, so went to explore the meadow - as yet I haven't been that far, so I certainly need to go back!

At around 16:15, we went for afternoon tea - K. and I shared a halved slice of chocolate cake because there was only the one slice left, but it was HUGE, so I just cut it in half. The Floral Hall tea room has beautiful vintage tea-cups and saucers, and mis-matched plates for cake slices, and a selection of teas. There's also old decorative tea-tins on display, and lovely tea-themed decorations on the walls. The cake was rather tasty, too! Afterwards we went for a quiet walk around Tomnahurich Cemetery, which is near by, but we did not take photographs there, as we were being far more reflective. 

All in all, it was a lovely afternoon out with friends, and I thoroughly recommend the Botanic Gardens as an attraction to visit, especially as entry to the gardens is free!


  1. How lucky for you to have such Goth-friendly locales in your vicinity. They are all but absent in my area, unless you include cemeteries. I do hope that I will be so fortunate to visit the UK, but that dream is considerably far off. I appreciate your blog and ability to take your readers on your outings.

    1. I think that we were a variety of frills including the more floral, colourful varieties presented by M. and K. helped us present the image that we're merely eccentric rather than dangerous or destructive.


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