A Walk In The Park

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Asked recently to frame this print I was told it was a map of all the trees in Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park. It sounded too good to be true. I wished it was but I knew it wasn’t, but it was a good excuse to go and check, to visit the trees on our doorstep, too often taken for granted. So we came for a closer look, through the rose-scented Orme Square Gate and into Kensington Gardens.

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Beneath a tree on the Broad Walk we saw Plastic Bottle Man with a sign saying No Paparazzi.

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The Elfin Oak is a 900 year old oak tree inhabited by elves and gnomes and other little creatures.

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Map of Kensington Gardens c.1733 by Charles Bridgeman

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The Long Water
a swan & cygnets and a coot and a pigeon.

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The Peter Pan Statue

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Feeding the parakeets (and also the pigeons).

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At Queen Caroline’s Temple there’s a display of Serpentine Summer Houses by
Kunlé Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan.

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Behind the Serpentine Gallery, a veteran sweet chestnut tree.

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Inside the Serpentine Gallery, Alex Katz: Quick Light.

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The Serpentine Gallery’s Indian bean tree and the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels.

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The Arch by Henry Moore on the eastern bank of the Long Water.

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The view from the bridge.
The Serpentine Bridge links Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park.

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At the Serpentine Sackler Gallery there’s a beautiful exhibition
Etel Adnan: The Weight of The World.

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Serpentine Galleries Summer Exhibitions

A folding screen and a concertina drawing, reminders of San Gimignano.

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(A few days later I was asked to frame another San Gimignano, this one by Ben Nicholson.)

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We came down by the Serpentine Lake, looking for the weeping willow mentioned in
Thomas Pakenham’s Meetings With Remarkable Trees.

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But alas, the tree was no longer there, replaced instead by an unremarkable sapling.

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There are plenty more trees, and there’s a map to help find them, from The Royal Parks Foundation.

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The Old Police House

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At the Italian Gardens we found a heron poised by one of the fountains.

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And the bark of the plane is plainly not plain.

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Click on the map to enlarge for a closer look.

Frames of reference

4 thoughts on “A Walk In The Park”

  1. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the walk in the park. It brought back good memories of the many walks taken there. I must say that your photo of the Peter Pan statue is much better than any of the ones we attempted.
    I had not heard of Etel Adnan and enjoyed seeing some of her work at a distance.

  2. Thanks for the lovely walk and the great map! I was looking for information on how old the trees in Hyde Park are, and what would have been the dominant tree species in the early nineteenth century. Thanks to your pictures I can at least hazard a guess that some sweet chestnuts would have been around, as well as lime and oak. When were the famous elms that died planted?

  3. To reply to part of my own question (in case anyone else is interested), here’s a snippet from Charles Quest-Ritson’s “The English Garden: A Social History” (2001): “In 1611 James I replaced an already existing avenue in Hyde Park with one of 200 lime trees.” (p. 42)

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