Posted tagged ‘sculpture in the garden’

Beauty Within and Without – Visiting the Franciscan Monastery

November 21, 2015

In Northeast Washington DC, in the Brookland neighborhood, sits the lovely Franciscan Monastery.  Earlier this week, a group from my camera club took a field trip there.

Although I had been to the Monastery before, it was only in springtime, and I didn’t venture inside.  That time of year, tulips are lavishly planted on the grounds and around all parts of the garden areas.

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A statue of Mary, arms full of flowers, in the lower level of the gardens, the week before Easter.

Franciscan Monastery

More tulips near the Church, with the Rosary Portico in the background.

On my more recent visit, although there were still a few roses in bloom here and there near the Portico, most of the visual interest outside the Basilica came from the Rosary Portico, the statuary, and magnificent trees in the last stages of fall color.

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A magnificent oak (I couldn’t identify the kind) serves as a backdrop for the Rosary Portico, which frames the main area surrounding the Basilica, and the Ascension Chapel (right background).

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The Rosary Portico contains plaques (not visible here) with the text of the Hail Mary shown in nearly two hundred ancient and modern languages.

Around the corner from the Basilica, planted next to a stone building that was closed when we visited, I spotted what seemed to be Ilex verticillata (winterberry) shrubs in fall color, still hanging on to their berries.

Franciscan Monastery

Ilex verticillata with berries. Guess the birds hadn’t discovered these yet!

Eventually we made our way into the Basilica and before starting to photograph, had a fascinating tour about the history of the building – including a walk through some catacomb areas. Then we re-emerged into the sun-lit interior, where for an hour we were allowed to photograph to our heart’s content, using tripods as we looked for large vistas and small detail images. Hope you enjoy what I came home with.

For more information on the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan monastery, visit its website or read more about it in Wikipedia.

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.

A Visit to a Memorial in Downtown DC

May 24, 2014

Several weeks ago, on a visit to the National Building Museum with a friend, I came across the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for the first time. Located in the Judiciary Square area of downtown Washington DC (in the 400 block of E Street, N.W.), the memorial honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The memorial occupies a large plaza space in front of the National Building Museum and is reachable by Metro’s Judiciary Square stop.

The circulating pool in the center is a popular site for birds refreshing themselves, but the most striking feature of the memorial is two long curving walls of blue-gray marble walls, carved with the names of over 2000 officers killed in the line of duty (new names are added regularly).

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

A portion of one of the walls carved with names. Flowers are left as tributes, and sometimes photos.

From a design standpoint, the curving walls also provide a place for rest, reflection, and a respite if it is sunny thanks to the carefully pruned linden tree hedges that reminded me somewhat of the hornbeam hedges at Dumbarton Oaks. You can choose one side or the other of the plaza to avoid the sun if it’s very bright.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

One of the curved pathways. There is a seatwall on one side of each of the paths on either side of the plaza while the other wall is carved with names.

At the entrance to each of the curved pathways, there are sculptures of an adult lion protecting its cubs – symbolic of the protective service provided by law enforcement officers to the public.
National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The day I visited, there were flowers bedecking all of the lion statues.

The center of the memorial is a large plaza, planted with honey locust trees, which cast high, light shadows in summer – perfect for sheltering people walking across the plaza.

National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial

The center plaza part of the memorial.

The memorial is about three acres in size and apparently is filled with daffodils in bloom in the spring. For more information about its history and events that are held there periodically, please visit its website.

 

 

Bartholdi Park

May 9, 2014

Several weeks ago, my “photo a day” group took a field trip down to the area around the Mall and some of the surrounding museums. Lately I have been shooting subjects other than gardens, but I was delighted when our workshop teacher, Colleen Henderson, introduced me to Bartholdi Park.

Situated across from (and technically part of) the US Botanic Garden, Bartholdi Park  is almost two acres in size and was recently renovated. If you work in the area, you should find your way to it as a place to escape the goings-on on Capitol Hill – there are benches, walkways, and a “Fountain of Water and Light.” I wasn’t there long enough to explore all of it, but look forward to returning. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos I took before returning to capture architecture and shadows around the Mall.

The Four Seasons Sculptures at NYBG

April 12, 2014

Yesterday I came back from a quick family-related trip to the Big Apple. I did manage to squeeze in time to ride the train out to the New York Botanic Garden. Unfortunately, the grounds were still in “winter mode” (except for some nicely blooming hellebores and cyclamen in the newly refurbished Rock Garden). So I visited the Enid Haupt Conservatory to take in the orchid display.

New York Botanical Garden

The entrance to the Enid Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden, now featuring a huge display of orchids.

They were gorgeous, and worth a post of their own. But as I was completing my tour of the orchid display, I stumbled onto an amazing set of seasonally-based statues in the courtyard behind the Conservatory. Created by the American artist and filmmaker Philip Haas, the installations are  inspired by the sixteenth-century Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who created “composite portraits” composed of collage-like compositions of fruits, vegetables, and other materials.

The sculptures began as models (which are on display in the Conservatory library) and then were constructed as full-scale works. For more information and a video of their installation, visit the New York Botanical Garden’s website. In the meantime, here are some of the images I took on a cloudy day when I was the only person around to admire these magnificent structures.

"Spring," by Philip Haas, in the Conservatory's rear courtyard.

“Spring,” by Philip Haas, in the Conservatory’s rear courtyard.

"Summer," seen from the front right side.

“Summer,” seen from the front right side.

The other side of "Summer." I think this was my favorite of all of them.

The other side of “Summer.” I think this was my favorite of all of them.

"Fall" is encased in a wine press! (I think)

“Fall” is encased in a wine press! (I think)

"Winter," starkest of all.

“Winter,” starkest of all.

 

The National Sculpture Garden

October 12, 2013

Recently I ventured into downtown DC (something I hope to do more frequently next year when I take early retirement), camera in hand, to visit the East Wing, the National Gallery, and the National Sculpture Garden. I saw a wonderful exhibit at the East Wing, “Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes,” which has enchanting costumes and film clips of revivals of some of the ballets from that time. (Barishnikov! Nureyev! But I digress . . .)

My afternoon ended with a stroll through the National Sculpture Garden, full of amazing works of art, carefully manicured shrubs, large trees and some annuals, and a large fountain great for people-watching. Here are some of the images I captured. Plan a visit on your next trip to Washington!

American University’s Summer Look

July 26, 2013

Last week, on my way to LPI from an early client appointment, I made a quick pit stop at American University’s campus. Although this time of year there are fewer students in residence than usual, the plantings, designed by AU’s resident Landscape Architect H. Paul Davis and his colleagues, looked stunning. I wanted to share a few with you, taken with my Canon G11, before I take August off to re-charge my creative juices. (I’ll also be getting to know my new computer, which finally arrived this week after the old one died over four weeks ago.)

So enjoy the photos, and take a trip to AU (4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW in the District) if you’re in the area.

 

Garden Shoots will be on vacation until September. See you then!


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