I hope everyone is well and had a lovely New Year! This is my first drawing for the year 2017 and it is called "Peace Kitten" on account of the Japanese Kanji for "peace" that the small brown kitten is gazing at.
I went for a quick one hour saunter to the city today to specifically take some photos of a very pretty corner of Hyde Park that I've always admired. It is the Sandringham Memorial Garden and Fountain which was completed and opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. It is a memorial to King George VI (her father) and King George V (you can see their initials and numbers on the two gates above). The City of Sydney has quite a good blurb about the memorial here. I've always enjoyed the jazzy orange mosaic of the fountain and the interesting design of the gates. Today was an especially good day to visit as the planting around the sunken fountain was very fetching!
This attractive Art Deco seat (made from Bondi sandstone) was built in 1939 for the Australian poet Henry Kendall. It is in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia which I had a stroll through on the weekend. I had not heard of this poet, so I looked him up and here I present a the second stanza from his poem "Bellbirds":
The silver-voiced bell-birds, the darlings of day-time, They sing in September their songs of the May-time. When shadows wax strong and the thunder-bolts hurtle, They hide with their fear in the leaves of the myrtle; When rain and the sunbeams shine mingled together They start up like fairies that follow fair weather, And straightway the hues of their feathers unfolden Are the green and the purple, the blue and the golden.
You can read more about Henry Kendall and his poems here.
It is officially Autumn here in Sydney, although it is still quite hot and humid. However, the breeze is cool, so yes it is starting to feel a lot like Autumn. I say bring it on! Autumn means terrific walking weather, dappled afternoon light and the wonderful reds and oranges of deciduous trees.
I took these photos today on an afternoon stroll. Pictured above are magnolia seed pods, hibiscus flowers, a magnolia blossom, a cockatoo, tall Mexican fan palms, hoop pine trees, the purple (out of focus!) blossoms of the lasianda tree and a bracken fern.
It is most definitely summer here in Sydney. On the one hand, I'm a bit disappointed because going for walks during the day is out of the question now. On the other hand, there are magnificent gardenias blooming all over the neighbourhood. Pictured above are gardenias from my Dad's garden and they smell divine! There are actually two types of gardenia flowers. There's the large flowers pictured above and then there's your small button hole gardenias which are a about the size of a 50 cent piece. I think the small ones have more scent, but the big blossoms (about as big as your hand or bigger) are my favourite. Meanwhile, here are a couple of lovely Georgia O'Keeffe flower paintings which I was attempting to emulate in the photos above.
Architectural Digest isn't just about buildings and interiors! They have a section where they showcase photos of gardens from around the world. There are all sorts of gardens shown from very trad topiaried gardens with box hedges to wild and scruffy grass gardens. I think my favourites are somewhere in between. I am also very partial to an avenue of trees or a walkway surrounded with foliage. What about you? What are your favourite garden designs?
Some iPhone snaps I've taken recently on my travels. The architectural photos are from Darlinghurst. I took these photos as I was interested in the different ages/ styles of building design ranging from early Victorian to art deco and beyond. The flowers and pelican are from Centennial Park.