Autumn is falling – Leaving London   #leaves #autumn #London #GreenPark #October

Between the green stretches of Hyde Park and St James Park in the city of Westminster lies Green Park, 47 acres of public strolling grounds.  

It is both a lovely green space in the heart of London, and the lungs of the city too, providing fresh country air – perfect for escaping Piccadilly madness.

There are no lakes, no playgrounds, no buildings and no planted beds (so no king may gather flowers for his mistress). There are 3 memorials.

Here is a quick history of the area:

In the 17th century it was a swampy burial ground for lepers.

In 1668 the area was part of the Poulteney family estate, who then surrendered the bulk of land to King Charles II, thus becoming a Royal Park, ‘Upper St James Park.’  Charles, in his turn, enclosed the parkland with a brick wall and built an icehouse for cold summer drinks (as one does).

By the 18th century it was an isolated area, haunted by thieves and highwaymen. Horace Walpole, writer and politician, was robbed here.

In the 18th-19th centuries there were public firework displays (in 1749 Handel composed music specifically for a Green Park display) and ballooning (up, up and away) and even duelling (sword fights).

In 1820 John Nash landscaped the area and in June 1840 from Constitutional Hill, Edward Oxford made an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria.

For me, in 2017Green Park (also a tube stop) is an excellent in-between walking route from Berkeley Square to Victoria, early in the morning when the squirrels are busy burying conkers and tourists are making their way to Buckingham Palace.

The plain trees are beginning to shred, scattering brown and yellow crinkly leaves along the pathway; there is an earthy dampness, a grey chill and a pale light filtering through the flaking canopy.  

Autumn is now the season to go strolling.  

Green Park offers everyone a green and pleasant land in London Town.

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

Advertisements

A Cup of of Camomile #quotes #Shakespeare #gardens #herbs #Spring #playwright #camomile

An English garden, or any of a temperate climate, through the seasons, holds a spell. It feeds the soul and mind in beauty, peace and rest and the body in herbs, spices, fruits and vegetables. Please note I’m mostly concerned with Spring and Summer.

Many herbs and plants have made their way into Shakespeare’s plays…their use in medicines (Romeo&Juliet), in metaphors (Hamlet, Henry IV) & in magic (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

Shakespeare loved to garden. He would have been familiar with, and fully aware of the significance and importance of herbs. Their values, qualities and differences would have played on his imagination and are naturally and subtly woven (weaved) into his work with great effect.

“… though the camomile, the more it is trodden on the faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted, the sooner it wears.” Henry IV

In herb gardens lie stories, tales and morals, and healing properties: prevention and cure.

Herbs and spices for sprinkling, wit and wisdom for thinking.


Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

In England – now! #England #Spring #blossom #seasons #poets #writers #weather

‘Seasons change winter to spring’ (so they sang in the film, Moulin Rouge).
Spring leading to summer warms the spirit and the pen, and becomes an inspirational and contemplative period for poets and writers, thinkers and dreamers, wanderers, followers and gatherers.

In May the world’s spin passes The Great Britain of temperate climate, through a gloriously green, flowery, abundant and prospectively fruitful season.  

Whether the weather brings sunny rapture or cloudy repulsion, there remains a gay, optimistic, signal of hope for this early part of the year.

From, Robert Browning, 1845

‘And after April, when May follows,

And the whitethroat builds, and all the swallow!

Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge

Leans to the field and scatters on the clover

Blossoms and dewdrops – at the bent spray’s edge- ‘


To, A. E. Housman, 1890, whose diaries cover two areas of interest, “the variety of the seasons – mainly Spring and Autumn – the weather, and the dates at which flowers come into bloom.”

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough…

About the woodlands I will go 

To see the cherry hung with snow.”

Follow my blogs http://www.katebarnwell.com

White Apple blossoms framed by the dotted blue of forget-me-nots, in England – now!


Captivated by Roses #roses #poetry #love #YouTube

The dear ROSE: no other flower features more often in poetry than ‘the symbol of a high romance and a loved one.’ Its colour, its fragrance, its long blooming summer season, its flamboyant eccentricities, its wrapped and curled baby bud, then open in full costume with loose petticoat petals and soft underbelly and complimented by it’s slender, tender, thorny (look, but don’t touch) stem and fine, pretty leaves. Here you have a ROSE.
So many splendid varieties, but we all have a special favourite.

‘Nothing is gained by not gathering roses.’ Asking for Roses by Robert Frost.

‘O my Luve’s like a red, red rose.’ A red, red rose by Robert Burns.

‘I went to my pretty rose tree
To tend her by day and by night.’ My Pretty Rose Tree by William Blake.

‘Gather ye rose buds while ye may
Old time is still a-flying…’ To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick.

‘It was a little budding rose
Round like a fairy globe…
Sweet was the slight and spicy smell.’ A Little Budding Rose by Emily Bronte

‘I dream of a red rose tree
And which of its roses three
Is the dearest rose to me.’ Women and Roses by Robert Browning

George Eliot’s poem Roses speaks almost childishly but so honestly about the joy of roses, you feel she may have quoted this carefree passage as you walked around the rose gardens together…

‘You love the roses – so do I. I wish
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and waking, all at once.’

If you would like to hear my poem ‘In Fields’ read by actor, Tobias Menzies, with a YouTube video featuring roses, follow the link and fall in love…
http://youtu.be/9yK8e0trvrQ

Young love #poetry #W.B.Yeats #love #gardens

Down by the Salley Gardens from The Wanderings of Oisin & Other Poems, 1889
By W.B Yeats (1865-1939)

‘Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;

She passed the salley gardens with little snow white feet.

She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;

But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.’


Q. What is a salley?

Ans. A sallow tree, closely related to a Irish saileach: a willow tree.
Q. What happened next Mr Yeats?
‘In a field by the river my love and I did stand,

And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow white hand.

She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;

But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears.’


Ans. You should have listened to her! But don’t cry, try to woo her back, read her wonderful poems, under a salley tree, walk in fields, don’t make life complicated…cry tears of happiness at finding (in this huge, wide world) someone to call my love.  This is time well spent.

A Red, Red Rose


‘O, My Luve is like a red, red rose

That’s newly sprung in June:

O, My Luve is like the melodie

That’s sweetly played in tune.’ (1794)

The captivating first line of Robert (Rabbie) Burns’ poem is now officially in season!
The Rose, traditionally the red variety, still remains the lover’s most romantic tool and in June we’ll see them in full abundance, here in Britain. Parks and gardens, sunny walls and craggy corners all desire the beautiful rose flower and, where possible, it will be perfectly perfumed, fragrant and voluptuous. Every part of it, from the plump, tightly wrapped bud to the soft, silky petals, to the long slender stem – why there is nothing more naturally sensual and symbolic of love.

‘Pass me a ribboned rosebud from its bed

And lazily lie each velvet petal

To relish as a crown around her head.’

Kate Barnwell, 2014 

Exactly 220 years later, the heralded Rose is still being featured in Romantic poetry.  

If you find someone sitting in rosebeds or wandering the rose gardens, picturing and smelling each and every rose, they are most definitely a poet, and happy one too!