Regular Random: five minutes in the flower beds at Albert Park

Close up shot of fly sitting on white daisy-like flower. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Right; this is a bit roundabout, so pay attention.

The other day I read Anabel’s (The Glasgow Gallivanter) post Hidden Histories (1) — about the ways in which women and our achievements are publicly commemorated — and it occurred to me that I could only think of a couple of public monuments to women in my city — Auckland.

One of them — the Practically-Compulsory-in-Former-British-Colonies statue of Queen Victoria — is in Albert Park, in the CBD. (Fun fact: we also have a Victoria Park, but it doesn’t contain a statue of Prince Albert.)

It’s Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend right now, and the city is busier than usual. That’s why I found myself in Albert Park yesterday morning at 8am. I duly photographed Queen Vic (post about monuments to women to follow). But since I’d paid for parking, I decided to hang around and take photos of the flower beds, which were bursting with these lovelies.

I think they are Cosmos, but I totally defer to all the gardeners who’ll probably tell me otherwise.

It would be a nice neat narrative if, at this point, I unveiled a connection between the flowers and Queen Victoria.

But I don’t have one. So here’s a monument to a powerful woman; the only one I’ve found who never set foot in New Zealand and who got her job by outliving her relatives.

Bronze statue of Queen Victoria. Made in 1899 by Francis John Williamson, and sited in Albert Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Bronze statue of Queen Victoria. Made in 1899 by Francis John Williamson, and sited in Albert Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Five Minutes of Random (the #RegularRandom challenge) is hosted by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequently Flying Scientist.

If you’d like to join in:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

(1) Actually a guest post for Donna at Retirement Reflections — but the sentence was already getting waaaay too long and complicated.

66 thoughts on “Regular Random: five minutes in the flower beds at Albert Park

  1. You seem about as enthused with the Divine Rights of Kings and Queens as I am, Su … I spend more time thinking about monarch butterflies than monarchs, no matter how hard our media tries to convince me to care deeply about royal weddings, births, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yup! Monarch butterflies deserve our attention — and their beauty rewards it. Is there a Royal wedding? I used to get my “royal news” (whether I wanted it or not) from my mother. Now even she’s lost interest. If they can’t get support from an 80 year old woman who actually lives in England — I think that says something 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely, lovely cosmos, Su. Summer instantly summoned through my screen! As for royal privilege, less said the better. However, Prince Harry, who is about to get married to actor Meghan Markle, is being quite a star on mental health and climate change issues, so for once I’m thinking the royal family might have its uses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are lovely. Albert Park is very “old-school” in layout, with formal flower beds. The cosmos beds were circling the central fountain and looked just wonderful. A useful royal! And two issues for which some very serious attention is required. Good on him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hehehe! Your enthusiasm for the Crown is overwhelming 😉
    Of course as soon as you mentioned it, I remembered our obligatory statue of her Queenliness at the imaginatively named Queen’s Park in Toronto.

    … and when it comes to flowers, I’m hopelessly uneducated. I can’t keep them straight in my head even if they are pointed out to me repeatedly. I generally just categorize them by colour 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂 hehe. All the statues of her I’ve seen are very unflattering. Seems to me one of the perks of being queen would be censoring images/representations so that only the hot ones were made public.

      I like your categorisation of flowers 🙂 Mine is only slightly more sophisticated and is based on whether they look like daisies, roses, lilies or clustery-things. I have recently added a “bottlebrush” category, which covers flowers of the (wait for it … tada) myrtle family. Very necessary in NZ where Pohutukawa is practically our national flower and it’s a myrtle.


  4. They look like Cosmos to me—one of the limited number of flowers I can recognize and name. So beautiful, and seeing color like that always reminds me that spring and summer will be here eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy. I guess you’re getting into the “darkest before dawn” bit of winter, whereas I’m taking any drop in temperature and rise in breeze as a sign that autumn will soon arrive. Always my favourite time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • We are starting to see the sunlight last til almost 5:30. That makes a huge difference (It sets around 4 in late December). It always makes me happy when there is more light and longer days. That’s why I love summer best!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. enjoyed the flowers this morning. ahhh
    and did you know that PBS is currently airing the second season of the show “Victoria” -?
    It is so good – and the second season takes place with the first child being born. I thought season one ws riveting.
    anyhow, so interesting that you note she “got her job by outliving her relatives” –

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. It was so nice to have a park full of flowers practically to myself 🙂
      Victoria has been shown here, and I noticed that the title role is played by a former Dr Who companion 🙂 I’m not a big fan of costume dramas, but I’ve heard it’s really well done.

      Liked by 1 person

      • well I have heard that Dr Who was(is) awesome –
        and the Victoria Season 1 was outstanding – and it ended with her in child birth and successfully delivering.

        oh and I then watched the mini series: “Ekaterina: The Rise of Catherine the Great” (made in 2014)
        and Su – that was even better (IMHO) and I almost wondered if the Victoria people “copied” ideas from Ekaterina – or got inspired by….

        Liked by 1 person

          • ahhhh…. yes – it could be “slamming” the females… but also I wonder how horrible it must be layered in that “power circle” and to grow older – childless and to then have a few peers wnating your job when you are gone
            and then maybe a few
            attempts on your life and it gets kinda wacky?


  6. This post was an absolute treat for me and sorry, I don’t mean because of Queen Victoria. I very selfishly focused just on the flowers 🌺
    Weeks of rain in England and no colour anywhere in the garden finds me hungry for the sound of buzzing bees and splashes of colour. And I love Cosmos… thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As said before by others, these are most definitely Cosmos – one of my all-time favourite summer flowers. I have a couple of chocolate ones two (perennials rather than these, which are annuals) that flowered for months up until December. And yes, they do indeed smell rather chocolatey! Sadly the pretty pink and white cosmos fell foul of the hungry slugs and snails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🙂 I’ve just looked up chocolate cosmos (I love that combination of words). They are beautiful; the chocolatey smell is a bonus! I hope the slugs and snails find some alternative nosh to the flowers I photographed. The park is such a beautiful place and right next to Auckland Uni which starts classes in a couple of weeks. I like to think of all the new students being able to sit and enjoy the flowers, just as I did 🙂


  8. Yes, cosmos. I think. 😉

    When I got to this line, “So here’s a monument to a powerful woman; the only one I’ve found who never set foot in New Zealand and who got her job by outliving her relatives.”, I laughed out loud.

    Have you watched the PBS series Victoria?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Those are some gorgeous cosmos shots. Love them. I’m useless with flowers but I love photographing them and I remember someone telling me these are cosmos. Great post Su and so sorry it’s taken me an age to get back to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure about the state of the Christchurch Botanical Gardens post-earthquake, but I hope that they have been repaired and maintained. Such a tranquil, beautiful place is even more important after everything the city and its residents have been through.


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