Branklyn Garden is a wee gem of a place. It’s within the Perth City boundary on the north side of the River Tay and is run by National Trust for Scotland. No doubt when its creators bought the land in 1922 the road running alongside one boundary carried much less traffic than it does now. But even so, it’s a beautiful spot and even if there is some traffic noise it’s muffled and not visible over the high fencing and trees that edge the garden itself. It’s not a big garden. It was an overgrown orchard 1922. But it’s jam-packed with an incredible variety of trees, shrubs and flowers.
Back in 1922, the new owners were Dorothy and John Renton who wanted the land to build themselves a house and make a garden. Dorothy looked after the botanical side of things and John designed the garden. They lived there and their garden thrived. After their deaths in late 1960s, it was taken over by the National Trust for Scotland. More information here.
I’ve been here three times but never in May when I’d been told it is at its best so we drove up on Sunday afternoon. The rhododendrons and azaleas are in full bloom. The Himalayan poppies were delicately nodding their heads under the weight of raindrops. The lilies were showing themselves above the surface of the water. Newts swam around the pond before hiding under the lily leaves.
The cafe was open. It hasn’t been on my previous visits. So we strolled round the garden, stopped for a coffee, scone and jam, had another stroll and then bought some plants. And took a lot of photos.
I’ve had a friend been visiting this week for a few days. She particularly came up to see the Joan Eardley exhibition over at Scottish Modern Art Gallery in Edinburgh. We went over on Thursday. It’s the second time I’ve seen the exhibition. It’s very, very good. Eardley died at the very young age of 42 in 1963. She’s reckoned to be one of the best British painters of the 20th century. She lived and painted up in village of Catterline not far south of Stonehaven and many of her paintings are land and sea scapes from around that village. And she had a studio in Townhead in Glasgow where she painted the kids playing around the tenement closes and back yards.
According to Wikipedia: Flaneur (pronounced: [flɑnœʁ]), from the French noun flâneur, means “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer”, or “loafer”. Flânerie is the act of strolling, with all of its accompanying associations. To flâne “is the very opposite of doing nothing” according to Sainte-Beuve. For Fournel, there was nothing lazy in flânerie. It was, rather, a way of understanding the rich variety of the city landscape. It is a moving photograph (“un daguerréotype mobile et passioné”) of urban experience.
First of all action at the pond ~
I’ve been having a bit of trouble with calf and hamstring tendons. Ouch. As a result I can’t take going for a walk for granted. If I walk too far or too fast those tendons do not like it. If I don’t walk at all, they don’t like that either.
So I’ve come up with notion of being a photo flaneuse : I take my camera, I get a decent walk by sauntering, dawdling, photographing, watching, retracing my steps when need be, sitting on a bench. It takes much longer and it’s very enjoyable.
Victoria Park is ten minutes walk from my house. On the afternoon these photos were taken it was being enjoyed by many kids, parents, dogs, strollers and a few other photographers.
Then dogs, bare trees, bulbs sending up new leaves…. and the magpie that got away
Over in Washington, Trump is preparing for his inauguration as 45th President of the USA. Elsewhere in the world, people are making know their opposition to his divisive rhetoric. One such protest are the Build Bridges Not Walls events. Here are more photos are of Glasgow’s contribution: