Park Güell

Antonin Gaudí also designed Park Güell, Palau Güell, and Casa Mila in Barcelona. Park Güell was high on my list of places to visit.

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There are so many whimsical shapes covered with mosaics!!!

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I didn’t love the lion’s head (below), but it’s the only thing I didn’t love.

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There are two levels to the park. The part with the undulating bench is on top, in the sun.

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The bench marks the perimeter of the space. I especially liked seeing the transitions between different tile colors and styles on the bench. And I liked that the drainage holes were well designed and obviously work.

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The plain circles that crop up like dots are really fun!

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You can see the more formal garden in the background in the photos above and below.

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The views of Barcelona were lovely.

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A colonnade holds up the ‘top’ of the park. It is massive, and the columns angle to provide maximum support.

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Stone and tile… everywhere you look! And beautiful ironwork…

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The non-formal part of the park is more organic. Rock work, no tile.

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The whole park feels happy and very alive!

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It was hot summer so the flowers were not as plentiful as they would be in the spring but those that were there, were lovely.

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We arrived at the park early and missed a lot of the crowds and heat. If you go, do that :-).

 

The Hunter Valley Gardens…

We went back to the Hunter Valley to visit the Gardens on Sunday. It’s been rainy but we were lucky and it was a beautiful day. Most of the flowers were dormant but that really didn’t matter to me. I enjoyed the fall display.

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The hedges are skillfully trimmed. I especially liked the cutouts that allow you to see through to another part of the garden.

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There is a formal garden, very nice.

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There is a lovely children’s area with a Mother Goose/story book theme. My favorite thing was the big red chair:

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There are rides, but it’s off-season here so they weren’t working. That also meant fewer people in the garden with us so, actually, it was not a bad thing.

This is the safest, least-scary Ferris wheel I have ever seen. It made me wonder if it’s as much fun as those where, even though you are strapped in, it feels like you could fall out.

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The Japanese Garden was serene, as you would expect.

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My last photo of the day. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen cut roses floating in water. I hope I don’t forget this…

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Visiting the Dallas Arboretum…

NOTE: If you got the way-too-early link to next week’s Wednesday Giveaway it’s only sort of gone. It will post on time next Wednesday. If you already commented, your comments should still be there.

Lorna, the kids, and I went to the Dallas Arboretum yesterday and it looks like spring is already here! Jack took way more pictures than I did.

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Bear rarely wanted to stop for a photo.

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The cherry trees have begun to bloom. That was a surprise to me — I didn’t know there were cherry trees there!

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The crepe myrtles are lovely even when they have not leafed out.

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This is for my friend, Catherine :-).

 

Shaking hands with a shovel…

Bruce Taylor’s guys put in our drip irrigation system last week. These brown drip hoses are perfect, but don’t look that great laying on top of the ground. 

   
 

The last time we spread mulch was 2 years ago and it has decomposed. It was time to mulch again. 
We’re lucky that there are big mulch piles that we can use but it is real work to get the mulch from those piles to our yard. It requires shoveling mulch into bins and buckets, driving it home, and hefting it into place.  
 

Steve and I both shoveled. He did the heaviest bin-lifting into the pickup. But I did my fair share of lifting and I was thankful for all those Pilates classes :-). 
  

We started at 7:30am and quit at 3:15pm with a 30 minute lunch break. We are fried but the yard looks great!
  

The mulch pile is much diminished…

 

We celebrated with home-made hot fudge sundaes!

And now for Mom’s fence…

Steve and I both thought that water sealing my mom’s fence would be fast. She has a small yard. How long could it take!? 

Well, there’s a mile of fence around my mom’s small yard. Not really, but it seemed that way. We started at 8:30 AM, and finished at 2:45, with a tiny break for lunch. 

You can see that it really needed this and it does look much better now. And the fence will last longer, too. 

  
On the up-side: it didn’t rain. On the down-side: it was clear and sunny and hot. We are both beat, but happy to mark this chore off the list. Yay!

On home ownership, part 2…

Do you remember that we have a problem with our irrigation system? I think the problems developed when we were in Hawaii but it could have been farther back. We had a wet spring which masked a lot of problems. But we now have a lot of very dry plants:

   
   
It took two days for the first repairman to have time to over. He started digging and found this:

  
That is a flexible black pipe that should be bigger, rigid PVC pipe. The guy who put in our irrigation system obviously did not work to code. Sigh. 

A tree root has pinched and broken this main line and if it has happened here it’s going to happen in other spots. It doesn’t make sense to just repair it. Everything underground is going to have to be replaced. Deeper sigh. 

So now I’m waiting on Bruce, who installs irrigation systems. He’s coming over Sunday afternoon. For now I’m watering the old fashioned way:

  

And there were flowers!

Succulents don’t flower a lot but when they do, the flowers are lovely. Here are a few, seen at the Ruth Bancroft Garden last week:

The yellow flowers on this little barrel cactus were practically translucent…

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Another tall cactus wore what appeared to be a corsage, albeit not one I would want to wear :-).

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There was a lovely stand of poppies, taller than me! I kept thinking of the poppies that put Dorothy, et al, to sleep in the Wizard of Oz…

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These little purple flowers were all over a small hump of what looked a little like grass but was instead pretty spikey. You wouldn’t want to walk on it…

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There were several flower that could have been designed by Dr. Seuss…

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And a personal favorite, the ones that look like spikey fireworks!

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