Friday, March 26, 2010

Good evening from New York on an early spring evening.

Today, our spring took a break, as the temperatures dropped back into a wintry range. That's all right, it just means that our spring will have a longer span.

Yesterday was warmer, and after being indoors for hours observing the very careful, meticulous painter work his magic on my apartment's walls, I just needed to get outdoors for a walk.

I headed over to Central Park, passing past lots of interesting doorways in my neighborhood that I don't usually share with you all.

I entered the Park and walked down the gentle slope of Strawberry Fields, and saw this lovely burst of blue.

At the edge of Strawberry Fields, one crosses a roadway that's shared by cars (during some hours,) bicycles, roller bladers (not so many as in past years,) joggers. As a pedestrian, it's always wise to look both ways before that cross. I was once struck down by a very apologetic young cyclist who apologized profusely for traveling in the wrong direction.

He was chastened, I came to no real harm. I now really look right and left.

And so, I got across that roadway to the edge of the lake and began walking alongside it on my way to the Shakespeare Garden. This wisteria arbor will eventually fill with leaves. Right now it is a living line drawing.

Here's proof that the forsythia is still providing quite a show. You might just be able to glimpse a rented rowboat with a romantic couple crossing the lake.

Central Park has lots of lovely and quaint little buildings scattered about. Very picturesque, and I could not resist taking a photo of two of them.

And, having taken the photo of the quaint gazebos, I then needed to have a close up view of the daffs.

Pressing on with my stroll by the lake, I glanced back at the southern view and clicked a view on this overcast afternoon of the buildings of Central Park South rising over the edge of the Park. Southern Edge, of course. Do you see the ducks in the lake?

And then, I picked up my walking pace, and actually arrived at the entrance to the marvelous Shakespeare Garden. What are these beautiful little white flowers that filled this hill?

If I had a garden of my own, I think that I would know the name of every spring bloom that would appear. It is humiliating not to know what these purple flowers are named. It is glorious to be able to view their beauty!

Ah, here comes another admission of ignorance. Are these catkins on this shrub? What profusion!

Finally, I spy plant that I can identify. It's a quince! Its flowers are just beginning to appear.

The talented gardeners who tend this special place construct all sorts of natural sculptures upon which various plants will rest, and sprawl. I think that this one may host some peonies in a few months. I must make a note to remember to come back with my camera.

From the top of the Shakespeare Garden, you have a great vantage point to view some other Park areas. See just past the daffs, there's a fledgling Christmas tree evergreen cone, and just beyond that a little family group are enjoying this afternoon outdoors.
This particular area also has lots of flowering cherry trees. These trees will stage their show in a few more weeks.

Here's another example of nature encouraging the future shaping of nature. I passed by a trio of these espalier trainers. Again, I will try to remember to return to see how this experiment turns out.

Hellebores are all over the areas through which I walked. As you true gardeners know, these flowers tend to gently, demurely hang their heads a bit. And so, to offer you all a sample view, I kept looking for hellebores that were planted on a level above the walkway. Finally, success arrived and the planting site also allowed the dark backing of a lovely tree.

And so, I did have a fine walk in Central Park in the early springtime.
I returned home to my apartment. The very careful painter continues to visit a day or two each week. The living room is now almost completely repainted. The results are truly dramatic.
The following picture shows the effect of the fresh paint on the right edge, together with two sort of Rothko circles of pre-paint against the 22-year-old paint.

I rather like the soft-edge abstract effect of this photo.
The following photo shows a sharper edge near a ceiling corner, where new paint meets old paint over a bookcase.

And as a farewell photo, may I show you all the huge new frost-free fridge that somehow was shoehorned into my minuscule alcove kitchen?

The Fridge and I are still trying to get used to each other. I wonder if I will ever be able to afford to buy enough food to fill its freezer.
Happy Spring to all.


  1. Frances, I really enjoyed that lovely walk through Central Park. I love it there. Great pictures. Its wonderful to see the Spring arrive, though still cold. There is nothing more uplifting than fresh paint. You will have great fun re-arranging everything, and it will be so bright and airy. Love the big American Fridges, mine is a baby. Think of all the goodies you can store. Have fun. xx

  2. Good evening to you too, Frances. These are really beautiful spring photos. March was looking pretty good here in NE Ohio until last night. We were the unlucky recipients of a couple inches of snow. And I am so DONE with snow. Happy spring and thank you so much for your kind comments to me recently.

  3. Like you we had a promise of Spring but this week has been cold and wet. The little purple flowers are crocus but I couldn't see the white ones clearly enough.
    I'm just waiting for the day to be able to walk out without muffling up against the cold. It will surely come.

  4. I love your walks Frances, and was surprised to read this week that Central Park has over 800 acres! I thought of it more as a small park previously.
    Purple flowers are crocus, but the white ones are not clear enough. The catkins on the hazel are lovely, a real sign of Spring.
    Thank you for taking us with you.

  5. Oh, I loved this post - soooo great to take that walk through Central Park with you and think 'I've been there!'. Happy memories.

    Your Rothko wall is interesting - it really demonstrates the way paint softens with age. I bet you'll be glad when it's finished though. Hope you and the fridge are getting used to each other - soon you'll wonder how you lived without each other!

  6. Good morning - I feel I've had a lovely stroll around NYC and there are so many similarities here - daffs in bloom, forsythia glowing, crocuses-a-go-go, a freezer that desparately needs defrosting and bare line-drawn hedges along every lane and road. No house painting but plenty of tidying up to do. Look forward to seeing the results.

  7. That was a most enjoyable walk Frances - so much to see. You have far more flowers in bloom than we do.

  8. I tried to enlarge your photographs for a closer look at the flowers, I think the purple are crocus, the white look like our bluebells only white so maybe a form of wild hyacinth? As you were in the Shakespeare garden I am sure he would have reassured you that " a rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

    I forgot to comment on your knitting in the last post, it is so clever and accomplished, all those colours! I have been inspired to pick up my needles again after a very gap but all I can manage is knit a row, purl a row in one colour.

  9. Thank you for the lovely stroll round Central Park - I really loved NY and it made me want to go back again.

    I think the white flowers will be chionodoxa, google it to check. They come in shades of pale blue, pink and white. In fact there's a 'river' of pale blue ones at King's College in Cambridge this week, it looks stunning!

    Spring is springing here, but the cold could return for Easter - brrrrr!


  10. Gorgeous walk, Frances. It's interesting to see and remember how quickly spring comes to the northeast - one days you're shivering and the next day you're in shirtsleeves.
    If I could go to Central Park, I'd wish for you for my guide!

  11. What a lovely walk in the park. Thank you for taking us with you.

  12. I have some purple crocus like yours Frances. thank you for taking me on one of your walks. I can see why you are tempted to go out and take your camera, there is so much to capture and enjoy.
    Your apartment looks fantastic, it is going to seem much bigger and lighter, bet you can't wait to rearrange everything.
    You would make a great guide for visitors to NY.

  13. Thankyou Francis. I enjoyed that stroll with you, particularly as it has been raining in West Sussex for most of the day. Real April showers, except it's still March.

  14. What a refreshing walk you gave us Frances. I enjoy Central Park a lot and every time we go to New York (since we stay near 80th and Broadway) we walk in this great park. Watching the seasons like this one realizes how large this country is. Yesterday we were walking along Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas, under a warm sun, 82 degrees with many trees full of leaves already. Roses and many flowers were in bloom. Then after just a 1 hour and 50 minutes flight we were back in Atlanta where the trees are still quite bare, and this is still the same country. If I had been in Europe, I would have traveled at least through 3 or 4 different countries. How exciting to watch spring in different states, or towns, as you show us New York.

  15. Thank you for yet another delightful tour of your neighbourhood. And for the new definition of "spring break."

  16. thanks for the lovely walk.

    we're celebrating autumn in my corner of the world.

  17. The little white flowers might be Scillas or squills, Frances, a little relative of hyacinth. I can't really see the detail of the flower but if you peep here you might be able to confirm it with pictures of the blue strain of this little bulb:

    The purple ones, as I'm sure your other commenters have said, are crocus - very common in the UK at this time of year.

    Aren't spring flowers some of the best? SO cheerful just when we need them.

  18. Dear Frances,

    Thank you for sharing that walk with us, lovely photo's of wonderful spring flowers and plants, I did think maybe those pretty white plants could be Lily of the Valley?

    Love the pic of your kitchen Frances with new fridge, love too the way you have decorated with 'snippets' & postcards.

    Know you will be looking forward to re-arranging all your lovely creative wares once the painting has been finished Frances, and all freshly done beautifully for the spring. Love your wicker baskets Frances,I have colleted a few over the years.


  19. Good morning from V, dear Francis!
    What a lovely walk you had, passing some places I remember well.

  20. Frances,
    those pretty purple flowers look like anemone hepatica. They grow profusely in the woods here, I photographed some just a few days ago. Here is what Wikipedia tells us about this plant:

    "Anemone hepatica is an herbaceous member of the Ranunculaceae or buttercup family that is native to the forest floors of temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It has been called Hepatica nobilis also, although at least one recent study of the phylogeny calls for all of Hepatica to be included in Anemone. It grows on stone walls, rocks and in woodlands. The variety H. nobilis var. nobilis is native to Europe."

    They go by the name Leberbl├╝mchen here, little liver flowers (because of the way the flowers petals are arranged).

  21. Hello Frances

    Thank you for the lovely walk through your beautiful city. I am very envious, though, of your huge (and empty) fridge. We have a less huge, permanently full one. Maybe we could swap....


  22. Dear Frances What a gorgeous walk thank you for taing us along too. I loved your description of the Wisteria being a living line drawing - beautiful.
    (Bread is always a good and useful freezer filling object - they work much more efficiently when full than when empty -apparantly. I also keep a lot of milk in ours as it is such a long way to go and get some when we accidentally run out. (Catastrophe!)

  23. Good afternoon, Frances!
    I wish you a very happy Easter weekend,
    with lots of free time to spend as you wish,
    and fantastic spring weather too!