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As September slides into October, heralding the rapid advance of autumn, here’s a quick round-up of the colours of my Dutch summer…
being away at peak seedling planting time meant no vegetable growing adventures for me this year, but my mini rock garden, and the allium bulbs I planted in the autumn last year, put on a very good show!
august mid-morning moon | laser 3.14‘s perceptive brand of street poetry
gira loves this beautiful blue shweshwe duvet cover (made by my super-talented mum)… i suspect it might be because he knows how good he looks on it :)
soft pink early morning views from the studio
leiden is rocking the pink too!
lotus @ hortus botanicus, leiden
gingko | venation
~ and you don’t get greens like those above, without a bit of the below ~
street art in leiden | stained glass window designed by willem bogtman, haarlem, 1920’s (as seen at the ‘living in the amsterdam school: designs for the interior 1910-1930‘ exhibition at amsterdam’s stedelijk museum)
everyone loves the sun(flower)
rainbow cherry toms, ready for slow-roasting
blue-eyed visitor at my studio window | radiant brickwork, amsterdam
brick gables, haarlem | beautiful berries (buds? anyone know what this fascinating plant is?)
to the beach!
kite-flying | fallow deer grazing on the verdant dune grasses at zandvoort
grey is a colour too
au revoir summer!
Botanical gardens, with their rich diversity of plant habitats conveniently brought together in one place, are fertile (no pun intended) hunting grounds for colour, texture and pattern inspiration. Although Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus is tiny compared to other botanical gardens I’ve frequented (namely London’s Kew and Cape Town’s Kirstenbosch) it is historically significant as one of the first botanical gardens ever established (founded in 1638) and is no less fascinating than its bigger counterparts (size isn’t everything!).
These are some early experimental shots taken there recently with my ‘new’ macro lens – oh, how I love it!
One of my walking routes from home in to ‘town’ takes me past a quiet bit of water (between two busier canals) and the back of the Hortus Botanicus, Amsterdam’s botanical garden. It’s such a beautiful spot, always tinged with a bit of mystery and magic whatever the season, and if it’s possible to covet a building (which, it seems, it is!) then I have a serious case of palm house envy.
The Hortus’s palm house (and, in fact, the entire garden) is not on the grand scale of the palm house at Kew, but it’s the unassuming mellow brick and glass, and the human-scale of it, that make it so appealing. It doesn’t dominate the landscape, like an overwrought wedding cake*, it nestles into it and they become one…
It’s hard to believe that this magical landscape is, practically, in the middle of the city!
If you stand around long enough gawking at palm houses, autumn leaves and their watery reflections you’re bound to attract some attention. When two handsome strangers approach for a chat…
… it would be churlish not to hang out for a while. Topics of conversation are limited however – mostly we talk about the deliciousness that’s lurking beneath the dew-damp carpet of fallen leaves.
Hmm, beak-smacking good!
* Actually, I love the majestic greenhouses at Kew! But for the sake of this comparison the ‘wedding cake’ simile seemed appropriate ;)
Hortus Botanicus palm house built 1912, designed by Amsterdam School architect Johan van der Mey (also responsible for this gem)
Kew Gardens palm house built 1844-48, designed & built by Decimus Burton (architect) and Richard Turner (engineer)