Far from the beach, but still surrounded by treasure of all kinds just ready to be found, looked at, gloated over, gleaned and swiped or simply created! Here are my latest finds....
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Last of the Lingering Sunlight...
Arriving in London at the what felt like the very tip of the tail-end of summer - given the incredibly warm sunny weather of late - I went to Hyde Park to breathe in what for me is the very essence of England... Well one of these, at least.
Majestic trees standing proud cast slanting shadows across lawns and paths, and whilst the Rose Garden initially appeared to lack the extremes and exuberance of the Summer months' blooms and greenery, there was magic to be found!
The notes of a tin whistle could be heard, playing out over the early morning noise of the park that was waking up to the last day of October, glowing in lingering sunlight which caught the dew on branches and leaves. There, sitting on a bench without any pretentions, was a man practicing his music to the absolute delight of this particular passer-by!
There was bird song too, of course... The bold and brazen green parakeets let out their characteristic squawks and shrieks as they swooped between the large trees in the heart of the park, leaving the more discrete and daintier species of bird to flit in the undergrowth of the rose bushes, singing from hidden branches. An inquisitive little robin followed my meandering walk but bluntly refused to be photographed!
What I learnt after my brief visit was that the landscaped Rose Garden was designed to represent the sound of horns heralding one's entry into this Royal Park from Hyde Park Corner. The circular area at the centre of this garden, hedged in by yews, symbolizes the mouth of a brass wind instrument whilst the flower beds are the flaring notes of music.
Typically, I was more focused on the delicate details of the dew-soaked roses in the morning light to notice the 'bigger picture', but nevermind...
Likewise, with the timeless quality of its peaceful paths, pergola and bowers, I had no idea that the Rose Garden only dates back to 1994, even if the two fountains - Boy and Dolphin (by Alexander Munro) and Diana the Huntress (by Lady Feodora Gleichen) are both from the late 19th/early 20th century.
To be plunged into this whole atmosphere of elegant Nature was a welcome relief from the seemingly growing ugliness of our 21st century 'civilised' existence that swamps everything in a tsunami of screens, sneakers, synthetic materials and oversexualized images and allusions.
Although autumn has arrived, roses were still in bloom, albeit rather faded, and some flowers were even a little scented. Somehow their very presence towards the end of the year made them appear even more precious. The delicate petals of the eglantine roses were almost moving, as they glistened with beads of water.
The darker coloured roses seemed to have emerged straight of out of a fairytale, with enchanted flowers gently bowing their heads in modest beauty!
Meanwhile, Diana the Huntress looked on as I prepared to head back to the station, back to the brisk pace of the busy streets...