Time x Square

Time for another square month hosted by the lovely Becky. The photos don’t necessarily have to be of a timepiece, but are open to interpretation to reflect time in some way, or sayings such as ‘the passing of time’, ‘a stitch in time’, or time running away from you.

Day 20: A Floral Clock

I love floral clocks! The first one I recall was in Great Yarmouth, I think, when I was around 8½ years old. So this would be early  in the 1960s. Sadly due to continuous vandalism the clock was removed in 2005.

The Floral Clock which stood on the seafront, was actually a working clock, telling the time for all to see, which had flowers showing the numbers on its face.  Even the hands were covered in flowers.

I also got a photo of one in Ostend in 1971 and there is one in the English Garden (Le Jardin Anglaise) in Geneva.

But the one seen here is in the Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh taken in 2016. Commissioned in 1903, it was the first of its kind in the world. Clock hands, numbers and the surrounding display comprise of growing, photosynthesising life. In 1973, an electric motor was installed to keep the clock hands moving. Before then the clock’s mechanism had to be wound daily. Each year a new display is planted in West Princes Street Gardens along the lines of a topical theme. Plants vary each year but some of the more commonly used varieties include Lobelia, Pyrethrum, Golden Moss and succulents such as Echeveria and Sedum.

I am very glad to see that floral clocks live on. Where have you seen one?

To join in with the Squares challenge please visit Becky for instructions. Remember the only proper rule is that the photo must be SQUARE.

December Squares | Day Twenty

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Impressions

Yvoire – a floral medieval village in France on Lac Léman (lake Geneva)

I have no idea how I came to hear about Yvoire, maybe a search for gardens in the area when I was planning my trip to Geneva back in 2009. I always want to check out the gardens in a place I visit so do a search and then make notes of the ones I can fit in, including times and days open etc. When I discovered ‘Le Jardin des Cinq Sens’ (The Garden of Five Senses) was just a ferry ride from Geneva and the fact it is in a place called the ‘floral’ town then I had to make it happen.

The Gate of Rovorée (or Gate of Thonon) built into the ramparts of Yvoire.

I am not going to talk about the garden here, that deserves a post of its own, though if you click on the link you will get a sense of how it affected me. I will write a fuller post on the garden blog.

Yvoire is not all about this garden: the medieval centre is romantic and famous for its flowers, cobbled streets, town walls and a wonderful historic chateau (private) going back to 1306 and a time when Lake Geneva castles played an important role in protecting the strategic trade routes through the Alps and along the lake. Probably best to time your visit outside of peak holiday time as it can become very crowded.

Yvoire Castle as viewed from Le Jardin des Cinq Sens

As I leave the port along with many other disembarking passengers I debate whether to eat first or explore. When I notice that everyone was else was headed for the restaurants the decision was made. Explore.

Once I get behind the camera I am lost in the zone. My eyes flit from flower to flower. The heat brings out the scents, the bees are busy humming and the gentle trickle of water from the drinking fountains are all I hear. Most people are busy eating in the numerous eateries in the village so I am able to wander in peace. Murmurs of conversations blending into the background. I saunter along the lanes and alleys lost in the history and beauty of this place.

Yvoire Castle as viewed from the ferry port

Everywhere you look are flowers: hanging baskets, window boxes on every balcony, containers crammed into tiny nooks and crannies, flowers along the narrow lanes and steps leading to the marina, flowers on steps. Begonias, petunias, pelargoniums. A riot of colour. And then there are the colourful shutters: pale blues and greens, turquoise.

The streets and alleys within the medieval walls are lined with restaurants, bars, tea shops, ice-cream makers, creperies, boutiques and artisan workshops. The unusual onion dome of St Pancras was constructed in 1857, replacing the old campanile. It was eventually covered in stainless steel in 1989 and the top is covered with gold leaf coming from one of the last gold miller in France located in Excenevex, near Yvoire. The church itself dates from 1250.

The castle, although privately owned and not open to the public, dominates the village and is a must for photographers. The only question is where to take the photo(s) from. I try to find some unusual angles

Stepping outside the two gates I discovered more floral displays as well as sculptures, hotels and car parks and bus stops. By now it was time to visit that garden, before everyone else descended upon it.

Display outside the ramparts

I did finally have some lunch, a little late, but delicious all the same. And what better place than the Brasserie Les Cygnes (swans) in the ferry port where I tucked into Tarte à la tomate et au chèvre, salade mixte and a bier blond citron. Followed by a desert called ‘Baby Estelle’ consisting of pistachio ice-cream, fruit of forest sorbet and sauce and whipped cream. Well I had done a lot of walking. I enjoyed sitting on the upstairs terrace overlooking the port and the lake and reflecting on my day out whilst waiting for the boat back to Geneva.

The Old Port Yvoire

~wander.essence~ Prose

Today Was A Good Day

Well it was except for being attacked by a mad rabbit…
…and then finding a dead rat only six inches from my bare foot when taking in the washing in the dark. Day one. Another nine to go.

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Alice in Wonderland is an activity trail for youngsters in the RHS garden at Wisley. Inspired by the Lewis Carroll novel first published 150 years ago, the Top Terrace takes you on a journey into Wonderland. At one end is the Queen of Heart’s geometric red and white garden, mushroom sculptures pop up through the bedding and the White Rabbit directs you towards dream-like Wonderland. I had a great time discovering the ‘Alice’ sculptures on one of the hottest days this year!

The Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts

Today was a good day

WPC asks you to create a slideshow using Mesh. As someone who doesn’t use APPS or indeed have a smart phone and who is paranoid about sharing too much data with anyone or anything in the public sphere, I have used the slideshow that comes with WP. Suits me fine and a change from my usual galleries.

The Auckland Domain Wintergarden

The Wintergarden is found in Auckland, New Zealand and was built in commemoration of the Auckland Industrial Agricultural and Mining Exhibition of 1913-14

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It was designed in the early 1900s in the style of the famous English partnership of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jeckyll – my favourite designers of the English County Garden style.

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The building was opened on the 12 October 1921 for the benefit and pleasure of the public.

The two barrel-shaped Victorian glasshouses face out onto an open courtyard with a pond and mosaic fountain. Marble statues were added in the 1920s and 1930s and pergolas around the courtyard are covered in showy climbers.

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One glasshouse is full of exotic flowers: gingers, orchids, palms, Heliconia and other rare plants. The other is for temperate climate plants such as the gorgeous blue delphiniums in the photos.

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As usual my attention was drawn not only to the flora, but also the architecture of these buildings and in particular, the windows. Although the glasshouses need a little attention (well so would you after 100 years) the curved ends and decorative leaded windows are still beautiful.

DSCF9658The complex is completed by New Zealand ferns growing in a sunken scoria quarry to the rear.

This monthly challenge is hosted by Dawn from ‘The Day After’ who invites participants to post pictures of any windows that  they find curious, inviting, photogenic, or in some way tell a story. Visit her blog to see more windows and/or to join in with the challenge.

Containers

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Immediately I read the word ‘container‘ I think of plants – in pots. As someone who only has a container ‘garden‘ I am always on the lookout for ways in which to grow such plants and the type of containers used. A glasshouse, is of course, a container too since its job is to contain plants that otherwise would not survive outdoors.

 Old Terracotta Pots are my favourite

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and in some gardens you find ornate urns which would suit the style of my home, but sadly they are too big

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Plastic pots and seed trays are invaluable to the gardener

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and sometimes people use the most unusual containers

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or what about this lion-guarded bowl of thyme in the Herb Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden?

DSCF2425-cutoutDo you have any preference?