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.
Beneath a tree on the Broad Walk we saw Plastic Bottle Man with a sign saying No Paparazzi.
The Elfin Oak is a 900 year old oak tree inhabited by elves and gnomes and other little creatures.
Map of Kensington Gardens c.1733 by Charles Bridgeman
The Long Water
a swan & cygnets and a coot and a pigeon.
Feeding the parakeets (and also the pigeons).
Behind the Serpentine Gallery, a veteran sweet chestnut tree.
Inside the Serpentine Gallery, Alex Katz: Quick Light.
The Serpentine Gallery’s Indian bean tree and the Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Bjarke Ingels.
The Arch by Henry Moore on the eastern bank of the Long Water.
The view from the bridge.
The Serpentine Bridge links Kensington Gardens to Hyde Park.
At the Serpentine Sackler Gallery there’s a beautiful exhibition
Etel Adnan: The Weight of The World.
A folding screen and a concertina drawing, reminders of San Gimignano.
(A few days later I was asked to frame another San Gimignano, this one by Ben Nicholson.)
We came down by the Serpentine Lake, looking for the weeping willow mentioned in
Thomas Pakenham’s Meetings With Remarkable Trees.
But alas, the tree was no longer there, replaced instead by an unremarkable sapling.
There are plenty more trees, and there’s a map to help find them, from The Royal Parks Foundation.
The Old Police House
At the Italian Gardens we found a heron poised by one of the fountains.
And the bark of the plane is plainly not plain.
Click on the map to enlarge for a closer look.