Tag Archives: public park

Kids and Mud at Pollock Park in Gordon’s Bay (2016-08-02) Photo Gallery 05 AUG 2016

The days are staying a little lighter for longer now, meaning that once again the girls and I have the opportunity to nip out after school before the whole supper, bath and bed routine starts. Tuesday evening saw us we take the opportunity to spend a little time running around our favourite public park in Gordon’s Bay, Pollock Park.

sdr

It was a LOT more muddy than what I would have liked, but seeing as I only saw the mud AFTER we had already all exited the car, it was pretty much a lost cause and I could only hope that the girls remain PARTICULARLY well balanced for this session of play!

dav

(Thankfully, they did!)

Usually the stone canals that run the length of the park sit dry (the pump mechanism was vandalised and stolen years ago), so it was pretty cool to see water flowing through all the channels for a change – giving the girls and myself more than enough reason to track the water all the way back up to the duck pond, which I am happy to report is sitting at a quite nice and healthy level at last.

dav

Mr Teddy also came along for the play session, and even more amazing was the fact that he too somehow remained completely mud free!

sdr

Oh, and it was pretty cool to see some kids arrive with a quadcopter/drone, flying it in order to record the long-boarding that happens there on the road next to the park. (Pollock Park is essentially on the lower slopes of the mountain.)

sdr

As fun this impromptu outing was, unfortunately the weather didn’t stay great for long, and about 40 minutes in, we were forced to return back to the car, with the light rapidly fading, the cloud cover now heavy, and the temperature more than a little chilly.

Still, the girls had fun and that’s definitely what counts!

Things to See in South Africa: The Arderne Gardens in Cape Town Travel Attractions 10 FEB 2016

If you are in Cape Town and want an incredible collection of indigenous trees, go to the magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. However, if you are looking for something a little more exotic, then the stunning Arderne Gardens is certainly not going to disappoint!

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 1

Arderne Gardens is a public park and arboretum in Claremont, Cape Town, located in the Western Cape of South Africa. It was established by in 1845 by Ralph Henry Arderne, a timber merchant originally from Cheshire, England. In 1979, the park was named a South African Provincial Heritage Site, and is currently managed by City Parks of the City of Cape Town and the non-profit organisation Friends of the Arderne Gardens.

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 2

Weighing in at 4.5 hectares large, Arderne Gardens contain one of the richest collections of exotic trees and shrubs in South Africa, with more than 300 different species of trees (from literally all over the world) represented. In addition to its Japanese Garden and duck and fish ponds, it also features six Champion Trees, namely the massive Morton Bay Fig (one of the largest trees in South Africa), a Cork Oak, an Aleppo Pine (possibly the largest in the world), the Norfolk Island Pine, a Turkish Oak, and a Queensland Kauri.

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 3

In terms of history, the park forms part of the original Stellenberg estate, which was acquired by Ralph Henry Arderne (1802-1885) in 1845. He named it The Hill, and began to collect trees, shrubs and perennials from around the world. His elder son, Henry Matthew Arderne (1834-1914), was equally enthusiastic as a collector of plants and together the Ardernes had intended to create a garden containing the representatives of all the flora of the world, sourcing many of their trees and shrubs from Australia and New Zealand via trading them for local plants with passing ships.

The Hill was sold in 1914, and subsequently subdivided, with a portion of 4,5 hectares being registered in favour of the Council of the City of Cape Town in July 1928. It was this section that became known as Arderne Gardens in 1961.

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 4

The beautiful gardens with its ponds, lawns and shady nooks makes it a popular city retreat for Capetonians, and thus well worth visiting if you want to see something slightly different from the local flora that nearby Kirstenbosch has on offer!

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 5

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 6

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 7

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 8

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 9

arderne gardens with its champion trees in claremont, cape town, south africa 10

(Select photos courtesy of Marie Frei at the Friends of the Arderne Gardens)

Related Link: Arderne Gardens | Friends of Arderne Gardens

Things to See in Japan: Hitachi Seaside Park Travel Attractions 23 MAY 2015

If you ever find yourself in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan, then it might just be worth your while to pop in to the renowned Hitachi Seaside Park whilst you are there.

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - nemophila baby blue-eyes flowers 1

Hitachi Seaside Park is a public park that covers an area of 190 hectares, featuring blooming flowers all year round.

In particular, the park has become known for its (Nemophila) baby blue-eyes flowers, with the blooming of 4.5 million of the translucent-petaled blue flowers in the spring drawing travellers from both near and far.

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - nemophila baby blue-eyes flowers 2

In addition to the annual “Nemophila Harmony”, the park features a million daffodils, 170 varieties of tulips, and many other flowers.

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - tulips 1

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - nemophila baby blue-eyes flowers 2

In Autumn the colorful cosmos blooms and blazing red kochia bushes (aka burning bush, ragweed, summer cypress, or Mexican fireweed) spring into action:

Hitachi-Seaside-Park-in-Hitachinaka-Ibaraki-Japan-kochia-bushes

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - kochia bushes 2 little girl running through the bushes

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - cosmos flowers

The park includes cycling trails and a small amusement park with a Ferris wheel. (It also hosts the annual musical Rock in Japan Festival every August.)

Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki, Japan - ferris wheel

(If you were wondering, the nearest railway station is Katsuta Station on the JR Joban Line. Of course, Google Maps could have told you that.)

Related Link: Wikipedia | Lakbayer