My wife Diane and I spent almost an entire day at Kew Gardens. So much natural beauty to see. We arrived from central London at the Kew Station in mid-morning and didn't leave until almost dusk. At one time our son had a possibility of being transferred to London and I recommended getting a place in the Kew Garden area for the beauty and quiet. One of my photos from Kew.
Any such list would be contentious, of course. However, this one doesn't contain a single garden in Africa and this, in my opinion, is a serious omission. The Majorelle Garden in Marrakesh and the Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town would be obvious contenders. There are also many more fantastic gardens in Asia - e.g. the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, Sri Lanka.
I think that's one of the problems with so much travel journalism: Top-Tenism, the urge to line things up in order and crown a winner. That means, often, directing attention away from wonderful things that 'didn't make the list.' I'd much rather see lists of 'Ten wonderful gardens you might enjoy' or 'ten restaurants I've enjoyed.' As for gardens: Some are quite formal, others either informal or with the goal of showing nature rather than decor. Some are large, others small. Some are...
You wonder how many times Monet actually used these gardens as inspiration for his art -- likely hundreds. Perhaps his most spectacular pieces are the huge canvases he painted on display in Paris' Orangeria museum. These were the works of an old man loosing his eyesight to cataracts, but are truly spectacular!
Definitely hundreds! In fact, for the last 40 years of his life, he painted almost nowhere else. He even created a floating studio on a small boat so he could paint within his waters, and nearby on the Seine.
Great piece! The Huntington is one of my favorite places in the LA area and also pretty close to another one of my favorite spots ther , the beautiful racetrack, Santa Anita. As far as smog goes in LA , it really has gotten a lot better since I was a kid but still can be a shock to people.
Did you catch Gainsborough's PINKY and BLUE BOY? Among my favorites at the Huntington. I haven't visited the Huntington in about 15 years but when we lived in the LA area we would try to stop by at least once every few years.
You must be civilised in Canada too - cricket ! The original design for Central Park NY was made here - near Liverpool UK Birkenhead Park. Same guy did both. Just a bit smaller. We're a bit pushed for space over here !
We are indeed very civilized here, but in full disclosure, cricket is just a footnote sport. Not played by many. There is only one sport in Canada and that is hockey. Every other sport combined would not equal half the popularity of ice hockey.
Close but no cigar on Central Park's designer (who also did my backyard, Brooklyn's Prospect Park). Birkenhead was the work of Joseph Paxton, while the other two were done by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Olmsted visited Birkenhead in 1850, three years after it opened, and while he was already thinking about Central Park, which opened in 1858. In his book "Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England, Olmsted wrote about Birkenhead: "five minutes of admiration, and a few more...
In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted won a design competition to improve and expand Central Park with a plan he entitled the Greensward Plan . 8 years AFTER Olmsted visited the Peoples Garden - Birkenhead Park England. He said "that in democratic America there was nothing to be thought of as comparable with this People’s Garden" So he took the plans back to New York. Entered the Central Park competition 8 years later. And won using Paxton plans from the Peoples Garden in England as a guide.
Garry, no one doubts Paxton's influence on Olmsted, and on generations of others (as Olmsted influenced those who came after him), but surely there's a vast difference between learning from a master and applying similar ideas to different terrain on the one hand, and "plagiarism" of any sort on the other. That's especially so when we see how fully and publicly Olmsted acknowledged the model!
Apr 13, 2013 The boss of New York’s Central Park hailed his first visit to Birkenhead Park which inspired its design as “a dream come true” Doug Blonsky, president and chief executive of the New York Central Park said: “You drive around Birkenhead Park and there is no question that the physical similarities between here and Central Park are there" “To come here and take a look at it is a dream come true for me."
The visit was just 3 weeks ago, so mid-October, when the temperatures are pretty nice day and night (mind, the swimming pools get pretty cold....). It's more about the magic time of day GarryRF generally between 4 - 5 pm when the light is at it's best.
Dark chocolate is good for you Garry I actually don't watch hockey much anymore, although from time to time I'll try to catch a game in person. As with many sports, watching it on the tube doesn't do it justice. You need to see a game in person to appreciate the action, the speed of the sport, the skill in passing and stick handling. Done properly, I think it's one of the world's greatest spectator sports.
If you like beautiful food gardens, I think you'd love this one in Versailles: http://www.potager-du-roi.fr/site/potager/index.htm I spent a good part of a day there, not long after the restored garden opened to the public, taking pictures in a drizzly rain. Not what you'd think of for a garden in Versailles, but wonderful.
We've spotted some more vegetables among the ornamentals, this time at the Bassin de la Villette in northeast Paris. In the first picture, a gorgeous Swiss chard; in the second a delicate young artichoke has formed...
Does winter arrive early in these gardens ? Is that due to the elevation? Does it remain cool in the Summer too ? I'm thinking of the likes of Mexico City where it should be tropical but its elevation keeps it cool all year. Lovely photos of the Flora and Gardens. Was it really that empty ?
Thanks for the comments, Garry. Yes, winter arrives early because of the very high altitude. Over a mile and a half above sea level. Summers are very nice -- warm (75-80F) dry pleasant days (no humidity to speak off), and it always cools down nicely at night, so most places don't even have air conditioning. It really was that empty. No more than 6 folks in the garden including my wife and I, and of course not counting the hundreds of birds flying about.
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