Friday Fountain Challenge: December

Friday Fountain Challenge: December

One that failed to get posted during the year is this disturbing fountain from Prague.

hercules-1

This is in the Prague Castle Gardens and is of Hercules wrestling with a lion.

hercules-2

The sculpture of Hercules is made by architect Palliardi in the time of baroque flourish (1787-1797) and is in the garden on the bastion.

hercules-3

I don’t know about you, but I found this sculpture/fountain quite odd.

The courtyard also has some cute cherubs riding on lions so maybe this was the place where the royals kept exotic animals, including lions and tigers? Or is it all to do with Hercules and the twelve labours.

The first of Heracles’ twelve labours, set by King Eurystheus (his cousin) was to slay the Nemean lion. According to one version of the myth, the Nemean lion took women as hostages to its lair in a cave near Nemea, luring warriors from nearby towns to save the damsel in distress.

I suppose in a city where David Černý sculptures abound it probably isn’t weird at all.

If you’d like to join in with the fountain challenge then please pop over to Polianthus for the rules

This month is a free for all so if you have a fountain to share I’m sure she would love to see you.

garden photography: urban spaces

garden photography: urban spaces

December is the month for Urban floral displays

(Flowers found in Urban spaces – a town square, a flower tub, a hanging basket, a floral clock or any floral display including a public park. And as we are approaching Christmas you could even share with me your town’s Christmas lights)

Colchester’s Castle Park is right in the centre of the town. Dominated by the castle, it provides a wonderful green lung for locals and visitors alike. On a very warm and sunny September morning I enjoyed a stroll through this urban space – so put on your walking shoes and come and join me.

Most impressive are the entrance railings and gates. (Grade II Listed). which are late nineteenth century.

The Gates
The Gates

The dominating Norman castle.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This bee display in front of the castle is very eye-catching.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Castle Park was opened on 15 October 1892. It is divided into the Upper Park and Lower Park by the Roman Wall that crosses through it east to west. The park spans an area of 11 hectares and is listed Grade II in the English Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Importance.

View of the gates and war memorial
View of the gates and war memorial

Roses were still in bloom in early September

The site once formed part of the Roman City of Colonia Vitricensis and where a Temple of Claudius stood in honour of the Roman Empire until the city fell to Boudicca in 60/61 AD.

Later, in 1076, the Normans built a castle on top of the Temple remains and it was once used as a prison where those accused of heresy and witchcraft were held.

(In the early part of the 17th century, the prison was used by Mathew Hopkins, Witchfinder General, to interrogate witches – A sign of a true witch was a part of the body where the witch showed no pain (Witches Mark) One of his techniques was prick the witch with a pin all over her body – when the witch did not scream he had found her mark.)

The Normans also built an earth bank which covered the Roman wall and a ditch to enclose the Castle Bailey. This is now a flower garden.

The Ditch
The Ditch

In 1727 Charles Gray, a lawyer, antiquary and Tory Member of Parliament for Colchester, was given the castle and surrounding land as a present from his mother-in-law to form a large garden for his house Hollytrees. He remodelled the earth bank and created a tree-lined walk which leads to the summer-house in the form of a classic temple at one end and a stone arch at the other.

The Summerhouse
The summer-house
Stone arch
Stone arch

A path leads down to the Mayor’s pathway where the Lucas-Lisle Memorial stands. The obelisk is the first memorial in Castle Park, dedicated to two Royalist Officers, Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle who were shot during the siege of 1648 at the end of the Siege of Colchester. Constructed in 1892 on the site where the men are thought to have been executed.

The Obelisk
The Obelisk
North side of the castle
North side of the castle

A tranquil spot is the Imola Garden Pond where dozens of large Koi carp give pleasure to many visitors (NB: During the cleaning of the pond in November the fish were removed and transferred to a large container which was vandalised during the night resulting in the death of 45 fish including all of the oldest, rarest and most valuable Koi Carp that had lived in the pond for many years. A youth, who was drunk at the time, was later arrested and charged for the crime)

Bandstand
Bandstand

There is also a sensory garden and a dry garden within the park and in the Lower Garden, a model boating pond.

Sensory Garden Bench
Sensory Garden Bench

Hollytrees House (Grade I Listed Building) was built 1718 and the garden and Castle grounds laid out by Charles Gray c.1729. The garden to south front is enclosed by original eighteenth century railings and the house is now a museum taking in domestic life and childhood in Colchester over the past 300 years.

Hollytrees
Hollytrees
Hollytrees
Hollytrees

Do you have a town park to share? Maybe your town has won an award for its public planting?

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules🙂

  • Create your own post and title it DecemberUrban Spaces
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month. This is the final month of the challenge.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

Friday Fountain Challenge: December

Friday Fountain Challenge: December

I’m back in Switzerland for this first December fountain. The delightful “Le Vieux Carouge”, with its specific old French-Italian architecture, its abundance of fountains, courtyards, shuttered houses and bohemian vibe, doesn’t feel at all like you are in Geneva.

carouge-3

carouge-1

If you’d like to join in with the fountain challenge then please pop over to Polianthus for the rules

This month is a free for all so if you have a fountain to share I’m sure she would love to see you.

Festival of Leaves: fun

Festival of Leaves: fun

It’s time for another year of Festival of Leaves. This is the place to share your love for autumn and rain, for dark evenings and cups of tea, of books and all that you love during this time of the year.

~ Verena Cave

leaves-2
My granddaughter, Isla (21 months), enjoying the autumn leaves

This is the last week of the autumn challenge so if you have some autumn leaves to share, then please visit Verena’s site and join in. She’ll be very happy to see you.

(Macro Monday will be taking a break for a couple of months )

garden photography: big tree country

garden photography: big tree country

During November I want to see trees or leaves or anything found in a woodland environment

(this can include individual trees or leaves or woodland/forest views, fungi, wildlife or wildflowers – it can be of an autumnal flavour or anytime in the year, up to you)

I mentioned last week about Perthshire being the country of the BIG trees, so my final post for this month’s theme on trees is about the impressive giant Douglas fir.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The tallest tree in the British Isles is a Douglas fir sited next to the Hermitage in Dunkeld which is 12 miles from Douglas’s birthplace in Scone, Scotland. Douglas was born in 1799 and was one of the greatest plant hunters of the Pacific and NW of North America.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Many of our walks in the area took us through forests of these magnificent trees. Above and below are scenes from the walk to Bruars Falls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Douglas Fir (pseudotsuga menziesii) is named after David Douglas who sent the first seed back to Britain in 827. Its botanical name commemorates Archibald Menzies who discovered the tree in North America in 1791.

It can be quite amazing walking amongst giants.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules🙂

  • Create your own post and title it NovemberWoodland
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in December.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

This is your last week to share any woodland, tree, leaves etc with me as next Sunday we begin the final month of the garden challenge which is:

Urban spaces – a town square, a flower tub, a hanging basket, a floral clock or any floral display including a public park. And as we are approaching Christmas you could even share with me your town’s Christmas lights.

Thank you for all your very generous likes and comments this month, it has been a pleasure sharing with you some of my favourite tree photos and visiting your posts. I look forward to seeing what you have to show me in December.