29 Feb 2016

Scavenger Hunt: February

Here are my photos for February's Scavenger Hunt.  Thank you Greenthumb for giving us the list and for organising the link. You can find the link here.

green - an unusual police box stands in Surrey Street in the city centre

two - bottles given to Mr. P. by our DiL
for his home made wine, yet to be filled.

cool -  some cold nights in February brought frost and ice

somewhere you went - Sheffield Botanical Gardens Main Entrance
and specimen of the Chinese witch hazel Hamamelis mollis in the outside flower bed.

The Knowledge Sculpture can be seen high up
 on the Central Library, Sheffield, which was opened
 in the 1930s.  This is reflected in the style of the design.
As well as the carved figures there are stars and water,
 lighted torches, fruits and leaves.

 frame -an old frame contains a photo of my mother, Elise, aged 1 year 5 months
(her age is written in her own hand on the back of the postcard studio photo)

on the shelf

from a low angle - underneath a plane tree in St. James' Row, the Cathedral Quarter, Sheffield

writing - a fragment of an old memorial; stone, High Bradfield churchyard

inside - the last of our parsnips were dug up and roasted.

line - lots of lines here.  The mural is one of a set painted on a fence near a local
college depicting aspects of the neighbourhood, past and present


27 Feb 2016

A walk around the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield

With the better weather I returned to  Sheffield's Botanical Gardens last Thursday as we haven't been there for a while.  The Gardens cover a vast area so a visitor could spend several hours wandering around them.  The glasshouse Pavilions are also popular.  There's a trail, the Riddle Trail that can be followed which allows the visitor to walk through some of the garden areas each with a different geographical or botanical theme beginning inside the main gatehouse entrance on Clarkehouse Road. Along the trail there are artworks, each created by a different artist, that contain verses written with the help of a local poet, Berlie Doherty, during the city's literary festival some years ago.  By solving the riddle the visitor is lead to the next area of the gardens where another artwork and riddle can be found. The tour circles the gardens and finishes back at the main entrance.  I've put together some of the photos I've taken on my visits as I've not done the whole of the trail on one day. I  usually spend a long time in one or two particular areas each time I go as I look at the plants and trees in the various gardens and the glasshouses.  The photos with blue skies were taken on Thursday.

The Victorian Garden. The Curator's House is to the left of 
the large building.

The Curator's House

The first verse of the Riddle Trail is on the wall
 of the Curator's House Restaurant and Tea Rooms.

Step into the garden of surprise.
First find the hollow where shining eyes
Reflect the movement of trees and skies.

The Rock and Water Garden
Three linked ponds focus on plants
native to the Pennines.

artwork by Jez Thompson
Show where a secret garden waits
An iron rose half open gates.

The Marnock Garden

The 19 acre landscape was originally laid out in 1836 by Robert Marnock, a leading Victorian horticulturalist and landscape designer.  He was known for the Gardenesque style which featured winding paths and scattered plantings among tree-planted mounds. The Robert Marnock Garden is another quiet, enclosed area with plenty of benches and is planted up with tender climbers and scented plants.

artist Tracey Hayes

 Down in the woodland of whispering green
A quiet moment to sit and dream.

{unfortunately some of the ceramic leaves and branches
 have shattered where the words of the verse were written. 
They decorate a circular raised flower bed}

The national plant collection of weigelas are planted in these beds.

The next verse which is on a bench made from tree branches in the woodland area is hard to find. Each time I've looked for it I've missed it. This Thursday I asked one of the gardeners who was busy tidying up the beds and was told that the bench was down in a glade accessed by winding steps. The wooden bench once had woodland animals and the riddle carved on it, but it has now been cordoned off because it's in a rotten state. It was fascinating to see the wood is beginning to return to a natural state as it rots down and fungi has started to grow on it.

witch hazel Hamamelis intermedia 'Primavera'
The Woodland Garden

Now follow a dinosaur, steady and slow
To the tree that lived millions of years ago.

This is a fossil of the root of a giant clubmoss Lepidodendron. It was found in the rocks between the coal seams that were dug out when Sheffield's railway station was built in the late 1860s. Clubmosses were some of the earliest vascular plants. Today clubmosses still exist but are small plants that usually grow in boggy areas. During the Carboniferous period, Sheffield was covered with vast forests of clubmosses that grew up to 30 metre tall.  When they died, they piled up and were turned to coal as they were buried and compressed.  This coal was mined in the Sheffield area.

dinosaur feet (artist Chris Campbell)

Mice and birds and squirrels throng
Where the spirit of nature pipes his song.

The Rose Garden
This is restored to the original Victorian design
and planted with many varieties of roses.

Spirit of Pan (artist unknown)

At the base of the statue the verse reads:-

Find a circle of stone opened up to the stars,
Where huge animals lived in a cage without bars.

Apparently two bears - poor creatures- were kept in this area in a bear pit
in the 1850s and the statue of the bear is a reminder of this.

sculptor David Mayne

Summer in winter, the world in one place
Outside is inside the palace of glass.

The Pavilions
The glasshouses house plants from
  the temperate regions of the world.

some whimsical murals in the Pavilions

The South Africa Room

'Protea' mosaic tessarae  by Coralie Turpin

Step your way to the great stone arch
Where the riddle circle ends and starts.

We are now back at the main entrance. I hope you enjoyed the walk
along the Riddle Trail.