When I spied this beautiful fern unfurling in the garden at my parents house, it made me glad to be back in New Zealand, with such beautiful nature so close to home. Don’t get me wrong, the Netherlands has its own beauty in nature, but the simple beauty of this koru really took my breath away. It’s also appropriate; in New Zealand, among other things, the koru symbolises new beginnings. – CIA Photo by CIA, Auckland, October 2012.
It won’t be our garden for very much longer, and we will miss it so much. But these shots show how spectacular it can look at night-time.
The Hofje by Night.
The quiet of the garden belies the chaos of the packing inside the hofje
Eerily Awesome Atmosphere
Everything’s so green
Photos by PJD, September 2012. Captions by CIA. Late night packing still in progress. (Help?)
One of my favourite scenes from being in Paris in the early days of summer this year is walking in the Jardin des Tuileries. This photo sums up why: This is a garden with deep history; grandiose stretches of green space in the heart of the bustling city; vibrant wildflowers, dancing brightly as far as the eye could see, their light scent wafting into your nostrils; a public space for all sorts of people doing all sorts of things; fountains and ponds for fun to be had by youngsters with boats; sculptures to attract the eye and the art lover. All this, set against the timelessly gracious Parisian skyline, mansard rooftops stretching out low in the distance. Wandering in the Tuileries in those early Summer days really was Paris at its most picture-perfect best.
Photo by CIA, Jardin des Tuileries looking towards Les Arts Décoratifs and Rue du Rivoli, Paris, June 2012. Who needs Instagram when you can have Pudding Camera?!
If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you might have noticed we have a thing about museums. Art museums, history museums, design museums, national museums. We like to engage with the collections, the curatorship, the physical spaces. We like to think about how the buildings enhance, diminish or otherwise interact with their surroundings, their contents and their visitors. And so I have selected three museum moments, instances where the museum we were in at the time took an unexpected twist…
The Chinese Garden Court, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
It was my first time in the Met, and CIA was showing me around some of her favourites. Having seen some of the western art, we decided to check out some of the Asian collection. What neither of us expected at all was to stumble into the Chinese Garden Court. It was nearly empty (a stark contrast to the Impressionist paintings), so peaceful, and the conjunction of modern atrium, tiling, bamboo and rocks just took our breath away. A brilliant moment.
On a beautiful summer’s day, when the sun is beating down hot and there’s not a breath of wind in the air; when the city is heaving with crowds and even a drink that is ice cold is not enough to cool you down; when you glimpse the perfect sanctuary – soft green grass, the shade of a leafy tree, the sound of birdsong and the soft shimmer of a glassy pond – it’s just wrong when you are on the other side of the fence, and it is all just out of reach.
Photo by CIA in Amsterdam, August 2012.
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There’s not a day that goes past when we don’t feel fortunate about having such a beautiful garden right outside our windows and on our doorstep. It’s certainly not a regular kind of backyard, and a far cry from what we’ve known back home in the antipodes. Now, with summer starting to make its warm and sunny presence felt, we are finding that there’s no better space to while away any spare hours we might have. Today I thought I’d share some photos of this amazing space.
Back in May, I planned a secret outing to a special place in the Hague that a good friend had told me about. The idea was to get PJD there without him knowing where we were going, which proved a really hard task to achieve, given his incessant “Where are we going?” line of questioning. All he knew was that we had to go there during a specific month of the year, and that our destination was outdoors. Little did he know that I was taking him to an incredible park in the Hague, which has a slice of Japan nestled in the middle of it.
You will see from our photos that we were not disappointed by this place. It is the Japanese Garden in Clingendael Park. Read more