Saturday, 15 June 2013

Garden Musing

 A few days ago, I learned that my city's prize winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens of recent years, have been reconstructed in Roundhay Park, which is a mile and a half up the road from home. So, one evening, after work, I carried on, past my house, and went to have a look.
My fiancee, also known as the Red Dirt Girl, is professionally qualified in the world of Landscape Architecture, whereas I'm a bloke who likes growing things. It works well, I've taken her places on our travels, like Harewood House, and Rievaulx Abbey, where she sees things I've never noticed, she can explain process and intent, and can tell me, usually, the names of plants and their characteristics. Being used to the climate of the southern United States, she's interested to see the plants that happily grow here, in our wetter, cooler climate.

These were around the Alhambra Water Garden

Like blue gas-flames.

Poppies heavily budded.

I thought I knew what these were, but they're not...

An old mill.  Or is it?. Nope, it's as fake as Tom Cruise pretending to be Jack Reacher in the movies...

I clambered over a locked gate, so I could see what's around the back!

 This won the RHS Gold award, when set up in London at the Chelsea Flower Show, an Industrial-revolution era, 1800s canal lock, surrounded by wild flowers.
 At Chelsea, the water pouring through was in torrents, here, I think the pumps are somewhat failing in their pretence.
(big photoset on Flickr by Andy Paraskos, showing the construction and background of these gardens here)

Way back, I wrote a piece, an obituary, for Jimi Heselden,  a local man who invented something that made him a millionaire, and saved countless lives

Jimi Heselden was a great appreciator of the work done by the city's parks department, and it was he, through his company, Hesco Bastion, who funded these gardens, and gave those gardeners the opportunity to win the coveted Gold award. His family, after his death, have continued in their support. I thank them for it.
(Hesco barriers are widely used to protect military outposts , and around the world as flood protection, Iowa city recently deployed some seven miles of Hesco barrier against impending floods)

(My camera phone was mis-set, the colour balance favouring blues, but I can confirm these lilies are just as electric in real life).
I wish RDG had been with me, for a stroll in the park. We're awaiting the outcome of our visa application, but it's a slow process, and frustrating because there's no feedback, no idea whether anything active is being done to the application, months pass, and you're not allowed to enquire what's happening, it's a Schroedinger's-Cat situation, and you can't lift the lid of the box to take a peek.
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  1. I believe the brilliant blue flowers are actually Siberian Iris . Lovely photos. Now I want to visit Roundhay Park as well as the Chelsea Flower show.

    1. Roundhay Park is well worth the visit, but we have so many great houses and gardens, that you'd never run out of places to visit. And art galleries, sculpture parks, theatres.....

      I lived in Roundhay from when I was 11 years old, close to the park. The park itself was an enclosure created for hunting, possibly as much as 2000 years ago. It was given to Ilbert DeLacy by William the Conqueror in 1069.

  2. I'd bet my bottom dollar that RDG would've loved to have been with you, too, Soub! Lovely pics. The only thing that made me twitch was the mention of Tom Cruise and Jack Reacher in the same sentence!

    I've a wild imagination but I just can't imagine Cruise as Reacher...and that's the reason why I won't be viewing that movie. I don't want any of his movies any more...I can't stand him. But that's beside the point....

    The Aussies got Best in Show at this year's Chelsea Show, too. as per the following:

    1. Tom Cruise and Jack Reacher in a single sentence is enough to make anyone twitch.
      Every description of Reacher, in Lee Child's books, emphasises his size. He's a big guy. When he enters a room, everbody notices. He's big, and he's tough.
      Which instantly tells you Tom Cruise is a stupid pick to play him. Also, though he has the name 'Jack' on his documents, nobody ever uses it. Even his mother called him 'Reacher'

      So I haven't watched the movie either. I started, but it was too ridiculous. As for Cruise himself, well, he's a scientologist, which, to me, is as good as saying he's certifiably loopy. Most religions, to me, are nonsensical, but scientology? It's as batshit crazy as all those muppets who go around speaking Klingon, and wearing star-trek outfits.

      But hooray for the Aussie gardeners. I read about it, and, you know, I wish they'd bring that up here too. The sad thing about the Chelsea gardens is that they're strictly temporary, and torn down after the show.
      I see Flemings have lost their sponsor, so this is to be their last entry...

      I hope that the publicity this win generates will persuade another sponsor to come forward. Mind you, the costs of transporting all that team to Chelsea will be on a whole different scale of magnitude from our park guys schlepping 200 miles south.

  3. Arrrrggggh! I lost my book length comment when I went hunting for your blue flowers. Both Nag and Lee are correct: the blue 'lilies' are indeed siberian iris, and I would dearly have loved strolling through the gardens with you. The unidentified yellow and red flowers are columbine - actually this color combination is indicative of our american native columbine.

    I love the gate. Its simplicity with a few frills makes it quite pretty. I love it when someone takes the time to make a functional object pleasing to the eye. The back of the mill!! Oops! Looks like someone forget to finish their 'design.' I suspect at the Chelsea Flower show most gardens are viewed in 180 degrees: from side to front to side. Probably few are designed for a full 360 degree view. The fencing in front of it is a sad commentary of our society today: we are too afraid of someone accidentally slipping into water and lawsuits. How in the world do we live around lakes, I ask ???

    *Sigh* You will never see lush flower borders as these in Texas. We do not have the climate for them. And I so love peonies ... too hot in Texas for those. That electric blue is a very coveted color for flower gardens. It has the ability to marry 'discordant' colors in a garden and is quite rare in the natural world.

    You are quite fortunate to have lovely gardens such as these to stroll through on an evening. And I do wish I had been there with you, arm in arm. Lovely photos.

    Thank you for posting these!

  4. The pink and yellow ones you thought you knew are columbine / granny's bonnets / aquilegia.

    I saw the Jack Reacher film last week on the way to Canada. I knew it was a mistake but it was the best of a bad bunch. I wasn't quite as disappointed as I expected to be, probably because I was happy to be able to pass the time, but it wasn't a patch on the book.

  5. I hope this is not too personal, but I have been wondering just whose blood does her dirt run red with?

    1. Jezebel's of course .... I thought YOU'D be able to figure that one out, Jerry ;)


  6. What a great garden!
    Love the blue flowers and the 'gas flames' are super.
    Thanks for that walk in the park!


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