Archive for September 2014

Two Hours in Central Park

September 20, 2014

Several weekends ago, I took a road trip to New Jersey and Connecticut to see some gardens through the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program. But the first stop was an overnight in New York City, courtesy of the mother-in-law of a friend I was traveling with. We only had a couple of hours Friday afternoon after we arrived, but we wandered over to Central Park, and my camera’s memory card started filling up fast.

Central Park Mall, American elms

The Mall, Central Park’s widest pedestrian pathway, is also one of its most-photographed features. Avenues of American elms grace its perimeters.

I haven’t been to Central Park in many years, and certainly not since I was trained as a landscape designer. So when we paused to enjoy the Mall (previously called the Promenade), I was ignorant of its significance. But I recognized the huge, mature trees as American Elms (confirmed by some discreet signs) and marveled at the landscape view they provided. Apparently they are one of the Park’s horticultural treasures, and great care is being taken to preserve and care for them.

Steps from the Mall, we saw the Boathouse and lake, a wedding party, bubble blowing, a couple dancing for a photographer, and bikes whizzing by. We heard a young woman singing opera underneath the steps leading down to the lake, and saw a young man who could have stepped out of a Renaissance painting walking slowly as he was photographed by a friend (not to mention by me). Central Park is full of wonders, and this Friday afternoon was no exception.

Chihuly’s Magic at the Denver Botanic Gardens

September 6, 2014

Where did summer go? Technically we have until the third week of September before we officially bid adieu to its glories. Fortunately, you have longer than that to catch the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I made my first visit to the DBG in early August on a bright, sunny Sunday afternoon. The place was packed and the shooting conditions about the most challenging you can imagine with all that sun and all that glass.

The friend who took me said her husband wasn’t a big fan of how the glass sculptures work in the garden (they are in virtually every part of the multi-acre space). In some areas, I agreed with him, but in others I thought the additions were brilliant. A film in the visitor’s center gave us some insight into his work in other venues, including cities like Venice and Jerusalem. If you’re in Denver between now and when the exhibit closes in late November, don’t miss it – and if you go at night, the sculptures are lit! How cool is that?

In the meantime, here are some photos to give you a vicarious experience.

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