Friday Flowers

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Image: Su Leslie 2020

We woke this morning to frost on the ground and ice on the roof outside our bedroom window. But blue skies beckon and even a short walk in the neighbourhood feels good.

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Image: Su Leslie 2020

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Image: Su Leslie 2020

A single flower

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Image: Su Leslie 2019

This week I have definitely spent more time baking than taking photographs, and I did toy with the idea of slightly altering this post to Friday Flours; wholemeal, white baker’s, spelt, rye, buckwheat — perhaps rice and coconut flours?

But I’ll spare you my attempt at humour and instead offer some images from the archive. Since this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge is to show one single flower — that’s what I’ve done. Or at least a bunch of shots of solitary flowers.

 

 

Friday flowers

img_7179 Image: Su Leslie 2020

It hasn’t been a great week, one way or another.

I’ve broken a tooth; inflicted a ridiculously painful-for-its-size cut on my finger tip; been for a mammogram (routine but always stressful); had a massive wasps’ nest removed from the ceiling cavity directly above where I sleep, and wasted far too much time trying to buy a tripod in camera shops that seem to employ the sort of men (where are the women in camera shops?) who should only exist in fiction (I’m thinking here of  “Hi-honey-I’m-home” 1950s sitcoms).

Worst of all; I feel bad for feeling bad. Apart from the broken tooth — and the possibilities inherent in the mammogram — it’s all pretty minor stuff. In a world of people doing it really tough right now, I’m not even on the scale.

That didn’t stop me buying flowers to cheer myself up though.

On the plus side, I bought them from a small, local florist who had only been in business a few months before Covid 19.

On the minus side, they’re out of season cut flowers with a carbon footprint I don’t even want to think about.

On the plus side, photographing them has provided me with shots for #fridayflowers.

On the minus, I’ve learned that flowers which look great in a vase don’t necessarily photograph well.

On the plus side, I’m going to shut up now, pour myself a glass of wine, and try not to think of reasons to get stressed about that.

“Through the trouble of this world there still runs a thin stream of serenity for those who seek it.”

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Entrance to cottage garden at Bason Botanic Gardens, Whanganui. The title of this post repeats the words on the sculpture. Image; Su Leslie 2019

I’m still trawling the archive for Friday Flowers posts, and today we are returning to one of my favourite places — Bason Botanic Gardens in Whanganui, NZ.

I’ve written about Bason Gardens before — and used the quote in a post title — but Stanley Bason’s words resonate with me now as much as ever.

“Through the trouble of this world there still runs a thin stream of serenity for those who seek it.” Stanley Bason (1900-1976: farmer, gardener, philanthropist and visionary)

Today’s photos were taken last December, when the Big T and I visited Whanganui for an early Christmas with my dad and step-mother. T had never been to Bason Gardens before and I felt real pleasure in introducing him to this special place. It helped that we visited late in the day and practically had the 25 hectare park to ourselves.

That we got caught in a massive downpour was a bit of a bummer, but great for the photos.

#fridayflowers

Friday Flowers

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Roses, cottage garden, Scandrett Regional Park, Auckland. Image; Su Leslie 2019

Another trip to the archives for my Friday flowers.

A while ago, T and I decided to explore the less well-known parks around Auckland and about this time last year, we discovered Scandrett Regional Park, on the Mahurangi Peninsula.

Formerly a farm owned by the Scandrett family, the park still contains the old homestead, and remnants of a once beautiful cottage garden.

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Scandrett homestead. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Old roses growing along a fence drew my attention.

As did the Japanese Maple in all its autumnal glory.

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Autumn leaves, Scandrett Regional Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2019

And these pretty little wild flowers growing along the shore — that I feel I should be able to name but can’t.

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Scandrett Regional Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Of course we needed explore the beach too.

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Scandrett Regional Park, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Regional parks are currently closed due to Covid 19, so it may be a little while before we can revisit Scandrett — perhaps on a sunny day?

To touch a hundred flowers

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Rhododendrons, Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, NZ. Image; Su Leslie 2019

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.”
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Of all the things I long for when the current rahui ends, long walks in public gardens is high on my list. In the meantime, I’m searching my archives for garden-visits-past.

Today we’re in Pukekura Park — in springtime.  Covering 52 hectares in central New Plymouth, the park first opened 1876. The boating lake was built in 1878, and in 1931, the Tea House was added — a gift by a former mayor and his wife to mark their golden wedding anniversary. Walking trails take you through fern glades and rhododendron dells, over bridges and alongside the lake. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place. Perfect for a Friday Flowers stroll.